USA, Utah: Four Gay Couples Ask Judge to Make State Recognize their Marriages

Written by scott on March 13th, 2014

Utah MapParalleling the marriage equality lawsuit in the state, another case seeks to force the state to extend benefits to married same sex couple sin the interim.

On Top Magazine reports:

A federal judge on Wednesday heard arguments in a lawsuit seeking to force Utah to recognize the marriages of more than 1,300 gay and lesbian couples who exchanged vows during the 17-day window when such unions were legal in the state. On December 20, 2013, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down Amendment 3, the state’s 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. For 17 days before the Supreme Court granted a stay in the ruling, Utah was the 18th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Plaintiffs in the case, four gay couples who married in Utah, are represented by the ACLU.

The state disagrees.

Edge Boston reports:

Utah state attorneys told a federal judge Wednesday that it is reasonable to freeze benefits for more than 1,000 newly married gay and lesbian couples because their rights are not permanently vested until an appeal court rules on the state’s same-sex marriage ban. State attorneys also argued that the couples who married in December knew that the ruling from a federal judge that briefly made same-sex unions legal would likely be challenged.

The judge was skeptical:

On Wednesday, Kimball asked several pointed questions to state attorneys about their defense. He asked several times how his ruling would impact the pending case before the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and asked them to explain why the couples don’t have vested rights. “If they are married, they are married,” Kimball said at one point.

Even if the judge sides with the state on this one, it likely won’t be long before these 1,300 couples enjoy their full rights and responsibilities as married couples in the state.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.


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