Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced this morning Utah’s Amendment 3 is still in force following a stay issued by the US Supreme Court on Monday. The law states legal marriage within the state is between a man and a woman only. Herbert made the decision following a recommendation from the Utah Attorney General’s office.
The governor’s actions allow the state not to recognize more than a thousand same-sex marriages performed following a ruling in December that overturned the marriage statute. State agencies may not recognize the once legal unions, affecting benefits and programs for married couples.
All members of Herbert’s cabinet received an email putting “same-sex marital status ON HOLD until further notice.” The email went on to say the governor’s position “is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages - that is for the court to decide.” You can read the entire email by clicking here.
County records indicate a total of 1360 same-sex couples were married following Federal District Court Judge Robert Shelby overturned Amendment 3 on December 20 until the Supreme Court stay on January 6. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the State’s request for a stay three times before it went into the hands of US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She then asked the full Court for their opinion and they granted the stay.
The ruling could affect many aspects of same-sex couples’ lives including medical benefits, adoptions, legal name changes following marriage, property ownership and death benefits.
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Source: Huffington Post, FOX13 News, Alliance for a Better Utah, the New Civil Rights Movement.com