So simple, even an invertebrate can understand it

The Digital Cuttlefish read the federal ruling striking down Utah’s gay discrimination laws, and makes an interesting point: Utah’s arguments were stupid. Not just poorly reasoned, but youtube-comment-grade stupid.

You’d think after all these years of clever people trying to rationalize their religious beliefs into law, you’d think someone would have said something that would make you stop and think, “Hmm, that’s a tough one…I’m going to have to think for a few minutes to counter that.” But no, they haven’t. And the court ruling goes through them all and points out how superficial and foolish Utah’s lawyers were.

By the way, if you want to get married in Utah today, Equality Utah has recommendations. Work fast — there are forces in Utah working to block this decision.

Also, “work fast” is bad advice about something as serious as getting married. Only move quickly if you’re already in a committed relationship and have wanted this for some time.


  1. David Wilford says

    After almost twenty years of listening to arguments against same-sex civil marriage, the fact is that every one of them is stupid, no matter how smart-sounding someone tries to make them.

  2. Childermass says

    First comment: “After almost twenty years of listening to arguments against same-sex civil marriage, the fact is that every one of them is stupid, no matter how smart-sounding someone tries to make them.”

    And deep down Utah seems to realize just how bad its case really is.

    The stay of the decision pending its appeal has the following:

    “The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and the local rules of this court provide and set out the requirements for a stay pending appeal. Fed. R. App. P. 8; 10th Cir. R. 8.1. Defendants-Appellants acknowledge that they have not addressed, let alone satisfied, the factors that must be established to be entitled to a stay pending appeal.”

    The rule in question reads:

    “8.1 Required showing. No application for a stay or an injunction
    pending appeal will be considered unless the applicant addresses
    all of the following:
    (A) the basis for the district court’s or agency’s subject matter
    jurisdiction and the basis for the court of appeals’ jurisdiction,
    including citation to statutes and a statement of facts establishing
    (B) the likelihood of success on appeal;
    (C) the threat of irreparable harm if the stay or injunction is not
    (D) the absence of harm to opposing parties if the stay or injunction is
    granted; and
    (E) any risk of harm to the public interest.”

  3. says

    PZ is correct about Utah state and local officials looking for ways to shut down or to slow down gay marriages.

    Here are some tips from an ex-mormon:
    1) People [camped] outside the SLC building (address and directions are on the [Equality Utah] page) for Monday morning (12/23).

    2) Although there is usually a 30-day period after the issuance of a marriage license before the license expires, the state is going to be specifically asking that SSM licenses be put on hold, so it is important to get married IMMEDIATELY, or else it is at least possible that even a validly-issued marriage license may become (until the hold is lifted) useless.

    3) As of this writing (10:55 PM MST [last night]), there are four counties which are known to be prepared to issue SSM licenses: Salt Lake, Weber, Cache, and Washington counties.

    4) Take CASH to pay the $30 fee (someone said that SL is charging $40), because you need to get the license in the shortest time possible. (You should have your applications downloaded and completely filled out tonight, before you go in.) Speed is of the essence, because there is at least a possibility that a stay could be issued after only one hour of the licenses becoming available.

    5) When you are printing off your application forms, print off a few extra and take them with you to give to people in line who do not have printers at home.

    Information is being updated constantly, and will be updated throughout the night. This is a public Facebook page so anyone can access it:

    And here’s what Utah County, the most mormon county in all of the morridor, is doing — or rather, not doing:

    No licenses or marriages were granted in Utah County, where the county clerk said they were waiting on clarification on the ruling before moving forward. “Until I receive the further clarification that Iam seeking, the Utah County Clerk’s Office will not be making any policy changes in regards to which we issue marriage licenses. We will continue at this time to issue a marriage license only to applicant couples [male and female] who appear together at the Utah County Clerk’s Office, according to the statement issued by Bryan Thompson, Utah County’s clerk/auditor.

    Herald Extra link.

  4. says

    Inadequately veiled instructions to mormons from mormon-controlled media:

    … we urge residents to pay close attention to the legal process as it unfolds. We also urge residents to contact legislators and others in positions of influence so they can accurately convey the will of the people to the courts and lawmakers.

  5. says

    From today’s [Monday, December 23] coverage in the Salt Lake Tribune:

    As state attorneys prepared Monday to tell a federal judge that same-sex couples who marry in Utah may be irreparably harmed if efforts to overturn his ruling succeed and those marriages are later invalidated, same-sex couples resumed obtaining marriage licenses as county clerks’ offices opened for business.

    To avoid that “cloud of uncertainty,” the state wants U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby to put on hold the ruling he issued Friday declaring Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

    Shelby scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. Monday to consider the request.

    On Sunday, a federal appeals court rejected the state’s emergency request stay the ruling, saying it couldn’t rule on a stay since Shelby hasn’t acted on the motion before him.

    But on Monday, acting state Attorney General Brian Tarbet filed an emergency request with a federal appeals court for a temporary stay to stop licenses from being issued….

    Emergency! EMERGENCY! Gay Utahans are getting married! Sheesh.

    There’s a gallery of 24 photos attached to the Salt Lake Tribune story. Great photos.

  6. says

    Excerpt from the Salt Lake Tribune article (see link in comment #6):

    … In Weber County, the first couple in line included a minister who had pushed to the front so he could get married and then officiate for others. Every time a couple leaves, license in hand, cheers erupt from those waiting outside. By 9 a.m., there were well over 100 people waiting in line for marriage licenses. The county had four desks issuing licenses, and had reportedly processed 35-40 by about 9:45 a.m.

    The Summit County clerk’s office also was reportedly issuing licenses. And there were 25 gay couples in line early Monday in at the Davis County clerk’s office to be married, according to the Standard-Examiner.

    But in Utah County, the clerk’s office was not issuing same-sex marriage licenses, and had turned away at least one couple. The clerk’s office is apparently waiting on a ruling from Judge Shelby this morning.

    In Cache County, a handful of same-sex couples were met by a sign on the door to the clerk’s office saying it would be “closed Dec. 23,” according to the Herald Journal. An official at the Cache County Attorney’s office said the clerk’s office “was closed indefinitely while they review the decision” and that Cache County Attorney James Swink would issue a statement later today, the Herald Journal reported.

    And in Box Elder, where no gay couples have attempted to get a license and two sheriff’s officers stood near the doors, the clerk would not issue one if they tried. A staffer said the office did not want to violate state statues. They will take applications, but don’t plan to issue licenses….

    Somebody needs to take photos of the assholes refusing to issue marriage license’s, and photos of the law enforcement personnel they dragged along.

  7. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    For the last couple of years I have been asking anti-gay marriage folks posting here how the Redhead’s gay cousin marrying his long-time partner hurts the (now) 40 year marriage of the Redhead and myself. The silence has been deafening. That silence says everything about their lack of cogent arguments.

    I’m still amazed how many people, usually rightwing or religious idjits, who think that just because they vote on an issue involving human rights, that they can supersede those rights with a bigoted law. That is exactly why the courts keep saying “you can’t do that”.

  8. says

    The Utah Attorney General’s office has sent state lawyers to the 10th Circuit in Denver in order to file yet another appeal to stay Judge Shelby’s ruling.

    Let us hope that the Utah AG does not get what he wants for Christmas.

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I find it ironic that gay couples are getting married in Utah before they are here in Illinois. Illinois recently passed a gay marriage law, but it won’t take effect until next June.

  10. David Wilford says

    It’s hilarious in a way (if it wasn’t so frightening for those same-sex couples affected) to see the Utah AG trying to claim that a stay is needed because, well, because… Because! Hint: if you can’t prove harm to being with, then what’s the reason for a stay? Go tell it to the judge, but I’m betting it’s all been heard already and found wanting.

  11. says

    From the comments below the Salt Lake Tribune article:

    Now people can understand what the term “progressive” means. We are changing the old religion. Christianity, for the new religion, Marxism. People think we are progressing to a new era, when, in fact we are just trading in an old religion for a new religion. Same goD, but the rules for obedience are the different. Welcome to the NEW “Dark Ages” of Marxist religious slavery.
    Judge Shelby refused to issue a stay. Of course, this makes perfect sense since the state has presented no evidence that it is harmed in any way by allowing all couples to marry.
    The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a second request by the state of Utah to put an emergency block on same-sex marriages in the state. That was just because the State put the cart ahead of the horse. They denied on technicality.
    This is nothing but the official “changing of the guard” from one dominating religion for an even more dominating religion. One that uses government agencies for its churches and government officials for its high priests. But, sadly, the new religion has the same ruler as the old religion. Just a sideways move and another religion in charge to serve and pray to.
    Welcome to the :Dark ages” of Marxist religious slavery.
    Best argument ever:
    “You shouldn’t give these people the right to marry. Don’t you see how hurt these people will be when we later strip that right away from them?”

  12. Rey Fox says

    It’s so bizarre to see forces frantically scrambling to prevent people in love from sealing their bond. If this were a movie, it would be so damn obvious who the bad guys are. That they have no awareness of this is just stunning.

    After almost twenty years of listening to arguments against same-sex civil marriage, the fact is that every one of them is stupid, no matter how smart-sounding someone tries to make them.

    And yet they continue to insist that “both sides” be heard, that “the debate” be allowed to continue. I don’t even bother anymore. I just drink up their tears.

  13. says

    Those of you not too far from Salt Lake City may want to join in a mass celebration of marriage equality in Utah.

    Help us celebrate the forward progress of Marriage Equality at the City and County Building downtown, We need EVERYONE there to show a presence in support of Marriage Equality. We know that we are still in for a fight for equal marriage rights. The next step by the State will be an appeals process but we need to let everyone know, including the Governor and Attorney General’s Office, how much this means not only in a celebration of the LGBT Community put also marriage in general. The more people we have the more our voice will be heard. We need to support those that were married today.

    The celebration is scheduled for 6:00 PM tonight. If you need a ride, you can probably find one by posting a request on the Facebook page.

  14. Erp says

    In fairness sake there are some Mormons who are supporting the ruling. See the Feminist Mormon Housewives blog which has posted severals supportive posts.

  15. says

    Erp @19, I saw that Steve Young and his wife had also come out in favor of Judge Shelby’s ruling.

    Meanwhile, both sides of the gay marriage debate are fielding petitions drives, as ABC News has noted.

    More than 17,000 people have signed a petition urging Gov. Gary Herbert to let U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby’s ruling stand, according to organizer Tim Wagner.

    “What I hope to get from this at least is to get the governor to recognize that there’s a substantial portion of the population of voters in Utah who don’t view this in the same way he does,” Wagner, who created the petition hours after Friday’s ruling, told KSL ( ).

    Herbert has criticized the ruling, saying it attempts to “override the will of the people of Utah” and that the state will fight it to defend traditional marriage. He urged Shelby to grant a motion to stay the decision until the state’s appeal can be heard.

    The Sutherland Institute, a conservative think tank in Utah, created a petition to show support for traditional marriage. Without providing numbers, spokesman Bill Duncan would only say the number of signatures is beyond what was expected.

    “We don’t hate anyone. We just understand marriage differently and we think that’s a valid viewpoint in the public square,” he said.

    Both petitions aim to give people a voice. Wagner plans to present his to the governor, while the Sutherland Institute said its purpose is to galvanize public opinion against the ruling.

  16. says

    From ex-mormon “bezoar”:

    Partner and I were in line at Weber County at 5:50 this morning. Got our license at 8:50 and were married by 9:00. It was probably the quickest wedding ever. We both said I do, and the minister pronounced us married. Probably took less than 60 seconds. But we are officially married – 17th same sex couple in Weber County.

    I got a husband for Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!

    Line was still huge at Weber County when we left.

  17. says

    From the Melissa Harris Perry link:

    A February 2012 poll from BYU’s Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy found just 28% of Utah residents supported same-sex marriage, far below the national level of support (55%) according to recent polling.

  18. says

    Rachel Maddow blog coverage (can’t wait to see her show on MSNBC tonight):

    […] state officials basically tried to move things along more quickly – they went to the 10th Circuit over the weekend so they wouldn’t have to wait until this morning to try again with Judge Shelby. The 10th Circuit effectively told the state that there was no actual emergency so there’s no reason to short circuit the normal procedure.

    In practical terms, that means marriage equality is still the law of the land in Utah, at least as of this minute, and same-sex unions can continue this morning.

    So what’s next? The state will go back to the district court this morning – Shelby scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. local time – to ask that Friday’s ruling be put on hold while the appeals process continues. Barring a surprise, Shelby seems likely to turn down that request.

    At that point, same-sex marriages will continue, while the case goes back to the 10th Circuit.[…]

    So, where are we now? Judge Shelby did not issue a stay on Friday. The 10th circuit did not issue an emergency stay over the weekend. Judge Shelby did not issue a stay this morning. Lawyers from the Utah Attorney General’s office will go back to the 10th Circuit, and will probably continue to go back over and over. We wish them many more failures than they have already racked up.

    From NBC News:

    A federal appeals court in Denver on Sunday rejected the state’s initial request for a stay, essentially saying Shelby must rule on the motion first.

    Now that he has, the state has the chance to go back to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to file for another emergency stay request.

  19. says

    “Utah County Adopts Jim Crow Tactic, Preventing Same-Sex Couples From Marrying”

    In the wake of the Supreme Court’s school desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Virginia Sen. Harry F. Byrd called for a campaign of “massive resistance” to Brown in an effort to thwart public school integration. One Virginia county even shut down its public school system entirely from 1959 until 1964 in order to prevent black children from attending school alongside white ones. Fifty years after Prince Edward County, Virginia reopened its schools, however, a Utah county clerk has apparently decided to follow its lead.

    The Cache County, Utah Clerk’s office is closed on Monday, meaning that no one who visits that office may obtain a marriage license — whether they are gay or straight. Though the county has not explicitly stated that it closed the office in an act of massive resistance to a recent federal court decision calling for marriage equality in Utah, the county attorney’s office released a statement linking the closure to that decision: “Given the status of the pending motion for a stay and the appeal that will be filed by the state of Utah, the Clerk’s Office will be closed until further notice.” […]

  20. says

    NY Times:

    […]Nicole Campolucci was third in line when the offices of the Salt Lake County clerk opened at 8 a.m. She and her partner, Pat Clemons, waited anxiously as a county clerk checked over their applications and filled out their marriage license. When that was done, they hurried downstairs, where a waiting officiant married them in three minutes.

    “We were just overcome with emotion,” Ms. Campolucci said afterward. “I wasn’t expecting that. I had held it together all night. I wasn’t expecting to burst into tears. It was a definite relief.”

    Like Black Friday shoppers, Ms. Campolucci and dozens of others began lining up on Sunday night, bundled up with sleeping bags, hand warmers and down jackets to fight the snow and wind. They huddled together with hot tea and coffee, ducking into running cars to warm up before reclaiming their spot in line.

    “We’re just waiting with bated breath,” said Amy Wilson, who is seven months pregnant and spent much of the night outside the offices of the Salt Lake County clerk. “We’re not missing this — it’s not happening.”

    Ms. Wilson said a marriage license would mean that she and her partner of seven years, Emily Eresuma, would both be recognized as the legal parents of their daughter, with each of their names listed on the birth certificate. In case they could not get a license, they had been exploring out-of-state adoptions and other costly measures to ensure that they would both be the girl’s legal guardians.[…]

  21. RickR says

    God soaked theist tears doesn’t sound particularly tasty.

    Au contraire. They are sweet like nectar. Especially mormon tears.

  22. says

    Ah, yes, mormon tears. An abundance, a tidal wave, of schadenfreude today for those of us who live in the morridor. How sweet it is.

    Meanwhile, mormon lawyers and lawmakers are still running around like someone disturbed their anthill. To state court. To the 10th Circuit Court in Denver. Back to state court. To county clerks with close-up suggestions. Back to court. To county clerks with reluctant, open-up orders. To organizers of petitions to protect the mormon God’s idiotic ways. To Twitter and Facebook and Deseret News. Lots of hand-waving and flailing and wailing. Delightful.

  23. says

    […]Utah’s large Mormon population is particularly opposed to homosexuality, as well. Nationally, nearly two in three Mormons in 2011 said society should discourage homosexuality, while only about one in three people overall said so, according to a Pew poll. Nearly three-fifths of Utah’s residents are Mormon, according to a 2007 Pew Religion & Public Life survey.[…]

    From the Washington Post.

  24. says

    From the readers comments section on the Salt Lake Tribune site:

    The truth of the matter is this, and only this: A same-sex marriage is not a real marriage. A union is the best that a moral citizenry would ever agree to. Yes, the homosexuals can say they’re married, but they’re not really married. And that is the perfect and unadulterated truth.
    Apparently the lawyers for the state are offended that the status quo was disrupted (whole point of the whole court thing fellas) and they weren’t “specially” notified it was going to happen. Because that mormon sense of entitlement cannot be reigned in.
    I wish Utah offices would simply ignore the judge. send in the military to enforce the law. let’s have it out and get this issue defined once and for all. I have no problem with states that have legalized gay marriage through a vote of the people or through the legislative process, but I am tired of single judges imposing their will while other judges do not and the circuit courts and supreme court staying silent. — “Joe Smith”

  25. David Wilford says

    I always love the “real marriage” line of baloney. I’m divorced and since remarried and while the Catholic church might not think my wife and I have a “real marriage” it’s all perfectly legal and legitimate. Which is how it should be. Mormons aren’t entitled to a theocracy and will have to recognize the basic right of same-sex couples to marry because there is no valid reason whatsoever to continue discriminating against them.

    Oh, and the the assertion that a “union” is satisfactory? The concept of “separate but equal” was found wanting back in the 1960s and it’s wrong to think it would be fair to apply to same-sex couples.

  26. zenlike says

    Meanwhile, mormon lawyers and lawmakers are still running around like someone disturbed their anthill.

    Don’t you mean “beehive?”

    I prefer ‘dungheap’.

  27. RickR says

    The truth of the matter is this, and only this: A same-sex marriage is not a real marriage. A union is the best that a moral citizenry would ever agree to. Yes, the homosexuals can say they’re married, but they’re not really married. And that is the perfect and unadulterated truth.

    This. This right here.
    You know what this means? It means they know they’ve lost.
    You see it over and over again- it’s the last stance of the bested bigot: “Well…..well…….you may have a civil marriage, but it’s not a REAL marriage!! NYAH!!”

    That’s what victory against these asshats looks like.

  28. Al Dente says

    Lynna, OM @15

    The ghost of non-traditional marriages past is pretty scary for mormons.

    The LDS church are not the people to be talking about traditional marriage.

  29. says

    Update from a gay ex-mormon who got married today:

    Part of the state of Utah’s motion to stay the decision was to invalidate all marriage licenses that had been issued and not used yet. So we were under the gun to get a marriage license and have a wedding by the time the hearing started at 9:00. Luckily Utah lost and people are still getting married this afternoon.

    Many gay couples who got married today were sorry not to have had time to invite relatives and friends from out of state. With hindsight, it looks like they could have slowed down a little, but there were no guarantees that Utah lawyers would not succeed in their appeal for a stay this morning. Better to marry quickly than not at all.

  30. jnorris says

    I was very disappointed by the lack of good arguments during Prop 8 challenge. Perhaps Utah will the end of states defending their anti same-gender marriage laws.

  31. stillacrazycanuck says

    Was it just me, or is it fair to read the decision as showing the Judge’s disdain for Scalia? He repeatedly quotes Scalia’s dissent on the DOMA case as justifying his decision. I suspect he could have found supporting passages from the majority in DOMA to support his reasoning and it seemed to me, on reading how he uses the Scalia passages, as if he was having a little bit of judicial fun at Scalia’s expense.

    At least in theory this case could end up before the Supreme Court, with Scalia still sitting. I can’t help but imagine the Judge having that in mind, and having in mind an image of Scalia seething over his words being used to justify striking down homophobic legislation, and smiling to himself at the delicious irony.

    Even if I’m wrong in this, it was still nice to have the thought myself. We’ve had same-sex marriage in Canada for many years, and I don’t know any opposite-sex spouses who feel that their own relationships have been affected:)

  32. says

    @Lynna, OM #39 and @stillacrazycanuck #44

    I raptly read every page and enjoyed the overwhelming tide of reasons it was struck down. I was actually laughing out loud by the third Scalia dissent that was cited. I was and am on the same page: I think it was some judicial trolling coupled with a hedge against any potential bigoted Scalia review if it gets to the Supreme Court.

  33. whheydt says

    Notice that, once again–and this time without the standing issue–we have the ant-SSM folks playing with fire. IF they appeal and *lose*, this decision would apply to all of the states covered by the 10th Circuit (Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming) *and* it would be a precedent. Without an appeal, the trial court decision would only apply to Utah and could not be cited as an actual precedent anywhere else.

    One can only imagine the reaction in Oklahoma and Wyoming, particularly, if this gets applied to those states…

  34. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    One can only imagine the reaction in Oklahoma and Wyoming, particularly, if this gets applied to those states…

    *snicker* *tee-hee* *bwahahahahahaha*

  35. joe99b says

    My favorite sentence in the judge’s decision: “The State’s prohibition of the Plaintiffs’right to choose a same-sex marriage partner renders their fundamental right to marry as meaningless as if the State recognized the Plaintiffs’ right to bear arms but not their right to buy bullets.”
    A 2nd amendment argument! Well…, a 2nd amendment analogy. Might be persuasive in them there parts.

  36. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Best. Christmas. Gift. EVAH!

    Such a delicious melange of second hand joy and schadenfreude.

  37. Holms says

    As state attorneys prepared Monday to tell a federal judge that same-sex couples who marry in Utah may be irreparably harmed if efforts to overturn his ruling succeed and those marriages are later invalidated…

    Even if we set aside the fact that that claim of harm is likely just trumped up bullshit with no corroborating documentation, it strikes my non-legal eyes to be an excellent argument against invalidating their marriages in the first place.

  38. whheydt says

    Re: Holms @ #50…

    In the Prop. 8 cases, the backers of Prop. 8 did NOT attempt to have SSM marriages done between the State Supreme Court making them legal and the passage of Prop. 8 about 5 months later.

    So…if Utah follows the same pattern…there will be no harm, so no stay needed.

  39. casus fortuitus says

    @stillacrazycanuck, #44:

    Was it just me, or is it fair to read the decision as showing the Judge’s disdain for Scalia?

    It’s not just you. My favourite part of the judgment:

    In his dissenting opinion, the Honorable Antonin Scalia recognized that this result was the logical outcome of the Court’s ruling in Windsor:

    In my opinion, however, the view that this Court will take of state prohibition of same-sex marriage is indicated beyond mistaking by today’s opinion. As I have said, the real rationale of today’s opinion . . . is that DOMA is motivated by “bare. . . desire to harm” couples in same-sex marriages. How easy it is, indeed how inevitable, to reach the same conclusion with regard to state laws denying same-sex couples marital status.

    133 S. Ct. at 2709 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted [but my emphasis added]). The court agrees with Justice Scalia’s interpretation of Windsor [and again]

    Delicious irony, indeed.

  40. says

    Crowds showed up to celebrate in Salt Lake City last night:

    Several hundred people gathered outside Salt Lake City Hall in Washington Square on Monday night to celebrate the state’s first same-sex marriages, three days after federal Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban.

    “I feel validated as a human being and a citizen of the state,” said Valina Eckley, who carried a sign inked in rainbow colors, “Love = Love.”

    Gay and straight people alike crowded around the steps of City Hall to listen to music and speakers celebrating the rush of weddings since Friday.

    Cliff Rosky, board member of Equality Utah and University of Utah law professor, described the ruling as “the most important victory in the history of the gay rights movement.”

    “You will be the heroes of the civil rights movement of our era,” Rosky said.

    Emotions ran high as a minister officiated the wedding of Restore Our Humanity board member Clyde Peck and his partner Stan Trujillo. Four of the six plaintiffs in the lawsuit were introduced to wild applause. Any mention of Shelby also drew enthusiastic cheers. […]

  41. Rey Fox says

    What’s crazy to me is that the mayors of SLC and Ogden are officiating at these ceremonies. I can’t think of a single municipality in Idaho whose mayor would have the spine for that.

  42. says

    […] Utah’s latest filing asks the 10th Circuit Court to stop same-sex marriages immediately, while the appeals court decides whether to overturn Friday’s decision. The appeals court is not expected to make that decision for at least several months.

    Without a stay preventing more marriage licenses from being issued to same-sex couples, Utah Attorney General Philip Lott argued, those months could be wrought with “chaos,” “confusion,” “injury,” and obscured by a “cloud of uncertainty.”

    The longer same-sex marriage is allowed to continue in Utah, the more licenses will likely be issued and the more couples will likely wed. This, Lott said, will only cause problems for the state, which has not had ample time to prepare for what consequences these unions might have.

    “Time is of the essence to stop these marriages by staying the district court’s injunction,” according to the state’s motion. “In order to maintain the historic status quo of man-woman marriage that the state and its citizens validly enshrined in the Utah Constitution.”[…]

    “For more than 100 years, Utah has adhered to a definition of marriage as between a man and a woman,” Lott said. “The court ruled that traditions and history are insufficient reason to deny fundamental rights. … But we think our laws and histories of the past half century are of the utmost relevance here. This is a fundamental shift away from society’s understanding of what marriage is.”[…]

    More sound and fury signifying nothing from the Powers That Be in Utah.

  43. says

    The 10th Circuit Court in Denver has denied two requests for emergency stays of Judge Shelby’s ruling. Now, a third request for a stay is pending, and this request will probably take several months to process.

  44. says

    Well, at least one of the Utah counties that had refused to issue gay marriage licenses yesterday is now on board. Cache County is only on board after being forced to do the right thing, the lawful thing.

    The Cache County Clerk’s office on Tuesday became the latest in Utah to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    Two couples were married as of 9:35 a.m. Tuesday, according to a clerk’s office worker. The office will be open until noon today, and the worker did not know if they will issue licenses to couples still in line at that time.

    U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby clarified Monday, in denying the state’s request for an emergency state on his ruling that struck down Amendment 3, that county clerks would not face prosecution for issuing licenses and were, in fact, legally obligated to do so.

    Cache County Attorney James Swink had issued a statement Monday saying the clerk’s office was closed for business to all couples, gay or straight.[…]

  45. says

    Some religious organizations in Utah are supporting gay marriage (not the LDS Church). Pastors are showing up and performing marriage ceremonies for free, and without regard to the couple’s religious or non-religious affiliation. This helps a lot because it assures that more gay marriages are completed before lawyers from the anti-gay side can pressure the courts some more for a stay.,1117438
    This post lists most of the organizations backing gay marriage, and helping with ceremonies. (Too many links to include all the text here.)

  46. Rey Fox says

    For more than 100 years, Utah has adhered to a definition of marriage as between a man and a woman

    For a whopping 117 years, in fact.

  47. says

    The full story of the various appeals and denials:

    State officials in Utah struck out in a federal district court this week, where a judge struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriages and refused to issue a stay leaving the law in place. The state hoped to have better luck at the federal appeals court.

    Instead, last night, proponents of marriage equality received a welcome early Christmas present.
    Same-sex marriage has been legal in Utah for less than a week, and already, the state is running out of options to stop it.

    Late Tuesday, the 10th Circuit Court in Denver denied Utah’s request to put a halt to the marriages, hundreds of which have been happening throughout the state since Friday.

    According to the order, the state failed to demonstrate it was suffering “irreparable harm” as a result of the legalization of same-sex marriage and also failed to show it had a “significant likelihood” of prevailing in its appeal to the circuit court.
    In practical terms, the moment the federal district court struck down Utah’s ban as unconstitutional, equal marriage rights immediately applied to the Beehive State. Last night, the 10th Circuit said the marriages can continue while the legal process unfolds – suggesting state officials are likely to lose their case at the appellate level, too.

    So, what can Utah do now to block legally recognized same-sex marriages? The next step will be state officials seeking a stay from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is assigned oversight over 10th Circuit cases. If she declines, state officials may seek emergency relief from the entire U.S. Supreme Court, which appears to be a long shot, at best.[…]

  48. says

    Cross-posted from the Lounge:

    Pasted in below is the official LDS church response to the gay marriage ruling in Utah. It contains three lies:
    1. That the Church treats all people with respect
    2. It implies that the Church has always supported marriage between one man and one woman “a woman”
    3. That the Church is “consistent”

    “The Church has been consistent in its support of traditional marriage while teaching that all people should be treated with respect. This ruling by a district court will work its way through the judicial process. We continue to believe that voters in Utah did the right thing by providing clear direction in the state constitution that marriage should be between a man and a woman and we are hopeful that this view will be validated by a higher court.”

  49. says

    Also cross-posted from the Lounge:

    Mormons and conservative non-mormons continue to comment on JudgeShelby’s same-sex marriage ruling in Utah:

    We’ll have a miracle because this sandy foundation ruling will be stayed and reversed. As I said above, the supreme court won’t let some creep rewrite 29 states’ constitutions on his little whim.
    Why dont you go to California and marry your partner?
    I got an e-mail from the Utah GOP mentioning this ruling and asking for money to “protect traditional marriage”…
    Young people may ask if same sex marriage is legal, what harm could come from experimenting? Of course the religious harm from experimenting is damnation. The other is their god doesn’t like it, and it’s only going to make him rain his wrath down on the world and destroy everything as he did in the days of Noah.
    We have never treated gays poorly….. Unless you mean having them read the scriptures about their behavior not being condoned of God? Sounds to me like, through the courts, they are trying to get God to condone their behavior. Interesting.
    You can bet your bottom dollar that the ruling will be reversed and the state will return to normal.
    Marriage is regulated by the states….not the federal government. Maybe all the queers should go live in dc
    I will gladly give up my right to kiss my wife in city creek to not have to watch a same gender couple do he same.
    Liberals, as I said in my original post, are neither civil nor fair minded. They’re like children who get a new toy and love to shove it in everybody’s faces.
    Bob Shelby’s nomination was strongly supported by Sen. Hatch and Sen. Lee, and Orrin praised his conservative credentials in Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation.
    This fundamentally violates the separation of powers clauses of the constitution in that the majority of citizens in a legal exercise of their voting franchise had their vote overturned by a NON-ELECTED judge.
    Give the gay movement an inch and they will take a mile and still never be satisfied. They are a vitriolic bunch that will try to destroy anyone who does not agree with them or gets in their way. I lived in California and watched their hate and venom grow more and more even after they achieved their goals. Never satisfied. It is not pretty folks.

    There’s more, but the above quotes are more than enough. In good news, the yucky stuff quoted above is countered by lots of rational (and more tolerant) comments on the Salt Lake Tribune site.