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Published: Saturday, Feb. 15 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

According to what I've read, the "imprudence" of Judge Shelby not issuing a stay of his order is directly attributable to the imprudence of Utah's AG in not asking for one at trial. It should be noted that while Shelby rejected subsequent filings for such a stay, so did the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, more than once, and on multiple grounds.

It's hard to conclude from this that Shelby's failure to initially and unilaterally issue a stay that hadn't been requested was a wanton miscarriage of justice.

As for the issuance of a stay by the trial judge in Bostic v. Rainey (the Virginia case), it was clearly only, "In accordance with the Supreme Court's issuance of a stay in Herbert v. Kitchen..." District Courts follow higher court actions, and prior to the Supreme Court's issuance of a stay for Kitchen, there hadn't been one regarding these marriage equality cases post-DOMA.

So, Utah has no one to blame but its own Attorney General for the lack of stay, and no one to blame but itself for the unvarnished and unconstitutional animus displayed in the overturned marriage ban.

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

Judge Kern and Judge Allen granted stays to their decisions only after the Supreme Court stayed Shelby's decision. They were following a clear precedence that hadn’t yet been established when Shelby made his decision.

The real story here is that Judge Kern and Judge Allen both agree with Judge Shelby that it is unconstitutional for states to ban same-sex marriage. It’s becoming clearer and clearer what will happen when the Utah case reaches the Supreme Court: marriage equality will win, and we will see same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Thank you, Utah, for expediting marriage equality throughout the land!

10CC
Bountiful, UT

The stunning incompetence of the Utah Attorney General in not asking for a stay, is a hint at how badly the Utah electoral system works in vetting political candidates.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

We got what we asked for in the Shelby ruling. Now other states are joining Utah in seeking to make same sex marriage a nation wide reality. In the mean time, the Utah ruling, without the stay, allowed hundreds of couples to celebrate their first valentines' day as newly minted Utah married couples. They exist among us, yet our children and our marriages seem to go on unharmed, like we knew they would. Congratulations, Utah, for taking such a courageous stand.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

Two more states followed the lead of Shelby's decision on the merits, and somehow you find vindication in their issuance of stays? Talk about a Pyrrhic victory!

Karen R.
Houston, TX

A review of the order denying the stay tells me that 1) the State failed to show that it was likely to succeed on appeal; 2) the State would not be irreparably injured absent a stay; 3) a stay WOULD substantially injure other interested parties; and 4) the greater public interest lies in protecting individual rights afforded by the U.S. Constitution.

The Appellate Court agreed.

Judge Shelby's reason for 3): “The State argues that the only harm caused by a stay would be a delay in the time that a same-sex couple would have to wait to marry…But some couples, including Plaintiffs Karen Archer and Kate Call, may be facing serious illness or other issues that do not allow them the luxury of waiting for such a delay.”

Before I read the order, I too had some concerns that Judge Shelby didn’t issue a stay. But now that I have informed myself, I think he did the right thing. I’m also grateful that such a compassionate person is on the bench.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

Keep wasting taxpayer money Utah. Its not as if there were better things to spend it on.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

In war it is often necessary to sacrifice your own people or position in order to fire up and motivate your troops and citizens. Could the action of the Utah AG to not ask for a stay, have been deliberate to help the cause.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ Ultra Bob: If it was, it backfired.

waikiki_dave
Honolulu, HI

I am sorry to say the DNs editorial staff is on the wrong side of history (again) concerning marriage equality. Judge Shelby's decision will go down in judicial history as a brave and heroic victory in the battle for human and civil rights.

equal protection
Cedar, UT

re: "..... Utah and other states appropriately stand up for the many benefits of man-woman marriage."

History shows us that the benefits of marriage are NOT defined by those who are excluded. Otherwise, why do we stand up for convicted felon abuse civil marriage? Why target only same-sex couples for vile animus?

Fifteen times since 1888, the United States Supreme Court has stated that marriage is a fundamental right of all individuals. In these cases, the Court has reaffirmed that “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage” is “one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause, essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,” and “sheltered by the Fourteenth Amendment against the State’s unwarranted usurpation, disregard, or disrespect.”

Abraham Lincoln-“It cannot have failed to strike you that these men ask for just the same thing, fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as in my power, they and all others shall have.”
Gays and Lesbians, and their children too, whose voices are in harmony with constitutional guarantees, also ask for fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as it is this courts power, they and all others shall have.

equal protection
Cedar, UT

“Assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons,” wrote Federal District Judge Heyburn, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush

The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. Ones right to life, liberty, and property,to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of NO elections.

Utah feels that it is perfectly rational to hold gays and lesbians morally and legally responsible for any failure of heterosexuals to act in the manner that the state wishes them to behave.

Bob K
portland, OR

As others point out, Shelby did his duty, the Utah AG office was sleeping.

What is the reason that the DN has only mentioned the Virginia decision in the context of another article, or of this editorial?

If the answer is "Because the DN must place pleasing the church hierarchy and the most conservative readers before telling the news plainly", I am sad for the DN and its readers.

The train on marriage equality has left the station and is gathering speed. I personally think that the DN readers ought not to be lulled into some false hope, but educated into understanding that the US Constitution comes before some of their wishes, and that they can do nothing about this progress, nor the fact that it is 2014, not 1950.

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