Attorney General’s office to ask for emergency stay on Utah same-sex marriages

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Attorney General’s office will be asking the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday for an emergency stay on same-sex marriages in the state.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor oversees the 10th Circuit Court, so she will be responding to the request for a halt. This comes after the 10th Circuit Court refused three different requests for a stay throughout the week. However, that court did say it would expedite the appeals process.

Issuing of same-sex marriage licenses will resume Thursday, and all will continue until the appeal goes to court or a stay is issued. That process could take a year or more.

“You’re going to get a three judge panel in the 10th Circuit that’s going to decide the appeal,”  said Troy Booher, an appellate lawyer with Zimmerman, Jones, Booher. “You have no idea which of the three judges will be on that panel. There’s really no way to predict at this point how the 10th Circuit’s going to deal with this case.”

Governor Gary Herbert has ordered all state agencies to comply with the ruling after some counties asked for further clarification from the state.

Utah County Clerk Bryan Thompson released a statement Thursday saying the Utah County Clerk’s Office will issue marriage licenses to all eligible applicants including same-sex couples.

The Box Elder and San Juan County Clerk’s offices announced that they will also begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses Thursday.

Related stories:

10th Circuit Court denies Utah’s request for same-sex marriage stay

Same-sex marriage supporters protest Utah Co. Clerk’s Office

Same-sex couples rush for marriage licenses before court hearing

Federal judge strikes down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage

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