December 22, 2013 | by Chris Johnson
Appeals court denies stay on Utah same-sex marriages
National LGBT Bar Association, Gay News, Washington Blade

The Tenth Circuit has denied Utah official emergency request for a stay on same-sex marriages. (image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

An appellate court on Sunday rejected at this time Utah state officials’ request for a stay on same-sex marriages within the state, allowing the weddings to continue following a district court ruling last week instituting marriage equality.

In a two-page order, U.S. Circuit Judges Jerome Holmes and Robert Bacharach deny the state’s request for an emergency stay as a district court considers on its own stay of the marriages, saying the state hasn’t addressed the necessary factors.

“Because the motion before us does not meet the requirements of the Federal or local appellate rules governing a request for a stay, we deny the motion,” the judges write.

However, the court says it would consider a stay on the marriages at a later time if state officials — Gov. Gary Herbert and Acting Attorney General Brian Tarbet — refile their request and meet the requirements.

State officials had filed both a request for a stay with the district court that instituted marriage equality and an emergency request for a stay before the Tenth Circuit.

In response, U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby has set a hearing Monday on whether he’ll stay his surprise decision last week instituting marriage equality throughout Utah.

Also on Sunday, attorneys for same-sex couples filed before the district court a response to state officials’ request for a stay, saying Shelby shouldn’t halt the same-sex marriages because such action would cause “irreparable harm.”

“The State Defendants do not have a likelihood of succeeding on appeal and a stay would not serve the public interest,” the brief states. “Plaintiffs would suffer numerous hardships of constitutional magnitude if a stay were to be issued, while the State Defendants have not shown how they would suffer in any meaningful way if the Order were enforced.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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