WaPo | SCOTUS halts same-sex marriages in Utah pending appeal

The Supreme Court put same-sex marriages in Utah on hold Monday morning while the state appeals a federal judge’s order that allowed them.

Hundreds of couples have been married since U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled Dec. 20 that the state’s ban on such unions violated constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. But Utah said each marriage was an “affront” to the state’s ability to define marriage as only between and man and a woman, and asked the high court to intervene.

Both Shelby and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver had denied the state’s request for a stay. The appeals court in Denver has put review of Shelby’s decision on a fast track.

But the Supreme Court, in a short order, said Shelby’s ruling should be stayed while the appeals continue. Utah’s request was made to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is designated to handle emergency requests that originate in the 10th Circuit. She referred the matter to the entire court, which issued the stay without discussion or recorded dissent.

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