Utah's attorney general filed an appeal with the Supreme Court on Tuesday challenging a lower court's decision to strike down the state's gay marriage ban.
“My responsibility is to defend the State Constitution and its amendments as Utah citizens have enacted them,” Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement. "Utah welcomes a speedy grant of the petition and a Supreme Court merits decision, as all Utah citizens will benefit when the Supreme Court provides clear finality on the important issue of state authority to define marriage.”
The law in contention was struck down by an appeals court in June, which ruled that a state "may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union."
Gay marriage advocates have rallied behind the case, viewing it as an opening toward legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, rather than state-by-state.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.