10th Circuit Court grants stay of same-sex marriage recognition in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A federal appeals court has granted a request by the state to halt recognition of same-sex marriages performed here in Utah.

In an order issued late Thursday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver granted the state's request for a temporary stay. The court gave the gay couples suing Utah until next Thursday to respond.

Read the order from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals:


"We appreciate the circuit court granting the stay request and acknowledging the need for more time to allow all parties a chance to address such important issues," Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement late Thursday to FOX 13.

In the request filed Thursday morning with the appeals court, the Utah Attorney General's Office asked to stop U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball's order. The judge set a Monday deadline for the state to appeal or begin recognizing more than 1,200 same-sex marriages performed after Amendment 3 was overturned.

Read the filing with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals here:


Four couples and the ACLU of Utah sued the state after Governor Gary Herbert ordered Utah agencies not to recognize the marriages.

In his statement to FOX 13, Reyes said the state "recognizes the deep burden placed on families who must continue to wait for a final decision regarding their rights and those of their children, any decision by  the highest courts that results in undoing what the District Court has granted could be more disruptive than awaiting certainty and finality."

Reyes said in his statement the lawsuit filed over same-sex marriage recognition and the appeal of Amendment 3 are now "are inseparably intertwined."

"Those of us working on the case take no pleasure in prolonging the legal process, but to immediately recognize benefits or marriages performed during the 17-day period is premature pending the outcomes of these other decisions," Reyes said.

Read the full statement from Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes:

Reyes statement

In response, ACLU of Utah Legal Director John Mejia noted that Judge Kimball ruled the two cases were not intertwined.

"We're disappointed in the state's decision. We think that it's ill-advised and a waste of taxpayer dollars," Mejia told FOX 13. "Judge Kimball's order was clear and well-reasoned, and I think at this point they should have given up. The better course of action would be to recognize these valid marriages and let these families go on with their lives."

In a statement, Governor Herbert's office said he has been in contact with Reyes over the decision to appeal.

"With so many cases stemming from the same legal questions, it is important that clarity and finality are provided by the highest courts," said spokesman Marty Carpenter.

Marina GombergIn an interview with FOX 13 on Thursday, lawsuit plaintiff Marina Gomberg, who married her wife, Elenor Heyborne, said she was not surprised by the state's decision to appeal, but "disappointed."

"There's this sort of painful irony in the fact that we are sort-of paying for our delayed equality in that our taxpayer dollars are funding this," she said.

The Utah Pride Center issued a statement on Thursday, criticizing the governor and attorney general.

Read the Utah Pride Center's statement here:

Utah Pride Center statementRecently, Reyes met with representatives of the Utah Pride Center to talk about "building bridges," AG's spokeswoman Missy Larsen said. The two sides did not discuss the appeals of the same-sex marriage rulings.

RELATED: FOX 13's coverage of the Amendment 3 appeal

RELATED: Read the court filings in the Amendment 3 appeal


    • Mark Snuff

      Whatever the ruling, I’m sure these people paid some money for the marriage licenses. If the state’s not going to recognize the unions, they should get their money back. Business is business. No?

  • Bob

    A marriage consists of a union between a man and woman, otherwise identifed ans husband and wife. A family consists of a mother and father. Yes, there are broken marriages, single parents, and a vast assortment of various combinations but two husbands? I don’t think so.

    • Trish Ramirez

      Says Bob, who apparently knows nothing about human history and doesn’t realize that marriage is a civil social union and that its definition has evolved repeatedly over the course of time. Marriage is about a a couple choosing to unify their lives and live together as a couple. Christianity has tried to hijack the tradition, but it predates modern religions and is actually pagan in origin.

      The parameters of marriage have changed as our society has changed, and it is in the process of changing again to recognize the unions of everyone that make up our varied society, not just a select few clinging to archaic and antiquated traditions.

      As for you not believing in two husbands, take a look around the country. There are many MANY legal marriages in which both spouses are men, i.e., two husbands.

      The Utah government is wasting taxpayer money on a fight they have already lost, and they are doing it to placate narrow-minded bigots like Bob who would snivel and whine if the state graciously backed out of this fight and simply allowed LGBT couples to enjoy the same civil rights as straight couples. The legislators are thinking about their futures in politics, and they know that if they don’t take this fight to the bigger end, their bread and butter constituents will take their votes elsewhere.

      They don’t care that they are wasting money in a time when no state has money to waste, they are simply worried about their jobs.

      • Bob

        Come on now Trish. Where is your tolerance and understanding for those who don’t agree with your “anything goes” alternate lifestyle? You expect tolerance but fail to demonstrate any yourself.
        a bigot is defined as “A person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, or who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group). Tell me Trish, are you a bigot? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

      • Trish Ramirez

        I tolerate those who disagree with my beliefs.
        I certainly don’t advocate making mormonism illegal, despite the fact that I think it’s lunacy.
        I also believe that you should have the right to spout your ignorant hate, despite the fact that I disagree with it.
        The difference between you and me is that when I disagree with the way someone lives their life, I say my piece or look the other way but recognize their right to live their life as they so choose.
        You and your ilk want to legislate your beliefs and particular version of morality.
        Trying to make other people’s lifestyles illegal is intolerance.
        In a free society, we can expect differences in opinion, but we should allow others to live as they see fit as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult.

      • Bob

        You think mormonism is lunacy Trish> Yep, you’re a full blown bigot …. by definition. And yes, I believe in the santity of traditional marriage. It’s what Mother Nature intended.

      • Trish Ramirez

        Believing a religion to be lunacy doesn’t make me a bigot LOL

        Everyone believes everyone elses religion is lunacy – if they didn’t everyone would have the same faith or no faith at all.

        And what does mother nature have to do with marriage?

      • Jeff

        Bob…where is your tolerance as you go home to your perfect marriage and perfect family? You have more than 1100 rights and benefits which you take for granted. The sad thing is absolutely nothing will change in your perfect world but you feel you have the right to deny these privledges, rights, responsibilities, and recognitions to other honest tax paying individuals.

      • Bob

        Trish, if you have questions about Mother Nature may I suggest you get your mother to explain it to you.

      • Bob

        Jeff: I have zero responsibility for your situation or for the laws inacted by the Utah State Legislature. I’m puzzled as to why you think I have some magical power to deny you anything. Are you suggesting that it is intolerant of me to have an opinion contrary to yours?

    • Kris

      If you don’t like it then don’t marry another man. No person has the right todeny someone elses happiness.

  • Bill Beveridge

    Don’t blame Utah for wanting gays to use a different term than Marriage, which is between a aman and a woman. Blame the government for stopping gays from being recognised with out being labeled. Call their Union something else. The name marriage is already being used.

  • Bill Beveridge

    I’m not homophobic, because I’m not afraid of gays but I do believe the Gays are Normaphobic.

  • Bob

    Yes TRISH, you are correct. Down through history many civilizations have experienced moral declines. Down through history many men and women have cheated on their spouses, and many others have experimented with various types of alternate lifestyles. It never rewarded any of them with lasting happiness.
    There are no shortcuts to happiness. You can’t find lasting happiness when cheating on your spouse, or when seeking a long term relationship in a public restroom.

    • Trish Ramirez

      How can you possibly believe you can speak for what makes other people happy?
      The fact that you continue to refer to LGBT relationships as things that can only be found in public bathrooms is a clear demonstration of how narrow-minded, bigoted and ignorant you truly are.

      • Bob

        To be honest Trish I don’t understand the various variations in the phrase “LGBT”. I do understand enough to know that B stands for bisexual, and that by definition is sexual attraction or sexual behavior toward both males and females. Would you call that monogamous?

      • Trish Ramirez

        Of course you can be bisexual and monogamous.
        Silly rabbit.
        Just because you are attracted to people of both genders doesn’t mean you have to act on that attraction any more than being heterosexual means that you have to have relations with every person of the opposite gender you come into contact with.
        What kind of silliness.
        Monogamy and marriage mean choosing one person and being faithful to them forever, the idea of being faithful doesn’t change merely because one is in a same-gender relationship – that’s kind of the the idea behind these folks wanting to get married.

      • Bob

        Trish, have you ever considered getting your mothter to explain the birds and the bees to you? Obviously such a conversation would have to include what Mother Nature intended. Its a fairly basic concept.


    Here we go again tossing the ball around! Hoping this will go away again!
    Face facts,Do the right thing and stop the hatred and dislike of the mere idea of a different,
    lifestyle getting the rights they deserve!.

    • Bob

      Why must hatred be attached to people who disagree with an alternate lifestyle? I disagree with people who like escargot (snails for the uninformed) but I certainly don’t have any hatred towards them.
      Perhaps the hatred referenced is self induced.

      • Landis

        Here’s the difference, Bob. I don’t like mushrooms, but I’m not trying to pass laws to make eating mushrooms illegal. The state of Utah has and is trying to pass laws because they don’t like someone’s sexual orientation. How else should people take the actions of the state other than hatred and discrimination? Making others feel like second-class citizens because you think it’s icky or immoral is not a good enough reason.

      • Bob

        The Democrats in general and the State of California in particular pass laws all the time in an attempt to restrict your 2nd Amendment right to own and bear firearms. While they are misinformed I don’t consider their actions hateful.
        The State of Utah has laws against gambling, prostitution, marriage to my cousin or brother, but again, I don’t consider them hateful, or discriminatory. You have the same exact identical rights that I do. .

  • Mike N SoJo

    So now it is LGBT Q? Questioning?????? Are you kidding me? Why is it homosexual now have hundreds of kids help web sites? What a joke.

  • Bob

    Why is it LGBT? Why not put it in alphabetical order? BGLT would make more sense. And why the Q for questioning? Shouldn’t it be a C for considering?

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