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Federal court refuses to halt same-sex weddings in Utah

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Utah will continue supporting gay marriages, according to a Dec. 24 Fox News report. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit denied the state’s request to halt same-sex wedding through the appeals process. Specifically the state sought an emergency stay on United States District Judge Richard Shelby’s ruling that Utah’s same-sex marriage ban violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights.

The Guardian reports that Judge Shelby’s ruling spurred a rush to the alter. Approximately 700 gay couples obtained wedding licenses after the judge’s ruling, prompting lawyers for the state to make their futile appeal to the 10th Circuit.

The next stop for state lawyers will be the United States Supreme Court.

“Until the final word has been spoken by this court or the supreme court on the constitutionality of Utah's marriage laws, Utah should not be required to enforce judge Shelby's view of a new and fundamentally different definition of marriage,” the state said in a motion to the appellate court.

The appeals court ruling means county clerks can continue to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Utah is the 18th state where gay couples can or will soon be able to wed.

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