A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that gay marriages can continue in Utah, denying a request from the state to halt same-sex weddings that have been occurring at a rapid rate since last week.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ rejection of Utah’s request for an emergency stay marks yet another legal setback for the state. The same federal judge who ruled that Utah’s same-sex marriage ban violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights previously denied the state’s request to halt the marriages.
Next stop, Arizona.
Utah’s last chance to temporarily stop the marriages would be the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s what the Utah Attorney General’s Office is prepared to do, said spokesman Ryan Bruckman. “We’re disappointed in the ruling, but we just have to take it to the next level,” Bruckman said.
Gov. Gary Herbert’s office declined comment on the decision.
Carl Tobias, a constitutional law professor at Virginia’s University of Richmond who has tracked legal battles for gay marriage, thinks Utah faces long odds to get their stay granted, considering two courts have already rejected it and marriages have been going on for days now.
“The longer this goes on, the less likely it becomes that any court is going to entertain a stay,” Tobias said.
So all you loving same-sex couples in Utah who like the idea of being hitched? Get busy!