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US: Utah couples formally request Supreme Court to take up gay marriage appeal

Joseph McCormick August 29, 2014
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Attorneys for three gay and lesbian couples in the US state of Utah have officially requested the US Supreme Court to take up the case.

Utah’s Republican Attorney General Sean Reyes, earlier this month filed a US Supreme Court appeal asking for a judicial review of a federal appeals court ruling that struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban.

The Utah couples have taken the unusual step to ask the Supreme Court to rule, despite that they won at federal court, because they want the higher court to rule on whether or not the same-sex marriage bans violate the US Constitution.

“Lower courts around the country have correctly recognized that state laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying violate the Constitution,” the attorneys wrote.

“Yet because these rulings do not apply nationwide, same-sex couples continue to experience great uncertainty and serious harm.”

The states of Virginia and Oklahoma have also requested that the Supreme Court step in to hear appeals of rulings by courts on their same-sex marriage bans.

Last December, a federal judge ruled that Utah’s same-sex marriage ban violated the US Constitution.The ruling prompted a seventeen day period where couples were able to marry in the state of Utah.

On 6 January, the US Supreme Court put a stay on ruling in Utah, forbidding same-sex couples from being issued marriage licenses in the state.

In June, Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage was again found to be unconstitutional by the federal court. A three-judge panel from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that the state’s current ban on same-sex marriage violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

More than 1,000 same-sex couples rushed to get married as occurred in December before the Supreme Court once again intervened and stopped the marriages, pending an appeal.

Following this ruling an appeals court ruled that Utah must begin to recognise the marriages of the hundreds of same-sex couples who have already married in the state.

Voters in Utah approved the state’s ban in 2004.

Related topics: civil partnership, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage ban, marriage equality, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, supreme court, US, Utah, wedding

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