TIME Gay Rights

Utah Won’t Recognize Gay Marriages In Dispute

More than 1,000 couples in legal limbo while state appeals earlier ruling

Utah said Wednesday that it will not recognize the same-sex unions made since a federal judge allowed gay marriage in the state while the matter remains under legal dispute.

The Supreme Court put same-sex marriage in Utah on hold Wednesday by granting the state’s request for a stay while it appeals a lower-court ruling that its ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The state says more than 1,000 same-sex coupled married in the 17 days between the initial ruling and the Supreme Court stay, CNN reports, and those couples are now in legal limbo.

“Based on counsel from the Attorney General’s Office regarding the Supreme Court decision, state recognition of same-sex marital status is ON HOLD until further notice,” Derek Miller, the chief of staff to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, said in a letter to cabinet officials.

“Please understand this position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages – that is for the courts to decide,” Miller wrote. “The intent of this communication is to direct state agency compliance with current laws that prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages.”


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