January 6, 2014
Another quick piece of news out of Utah–Attorney General Sean Reyes issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s stay of a district court ruling allowing same-sex couples in the state to wed:
There is not clear legal precedence for this particular situation. This is the uncertainty that we were trying to avoid by asking the District Court for a stay immediately after its decision. It is very unfortunate that so many Utah citizens have been put into this legal limbo.
Utah’s Office of Attorney General is carefully evaluating the legal status of the marriages that were performed since the District Court’s decision and will not rush to a decision that impacts Utah citizens so personally.
I believe this was a correct decision by the Supreme Court. There is an order to the legal process and this decision is just another step in that process. Both legal teams have much work to do before the case is presented before the 10th Circuit Court on an expedited basis. I believe the stay indicates an interest by the Supreme Court in this case and as I have said before, pursuing the legal process to get a final answer from the highest court benefits all citizens of Utah.
For now, the marriages of the couples who wed before today’s stay should remain valid, although if Utah were to win its appeal at the circuit court or the Supreme Court, the validity of those marriages would be in question. There will likely be further instruction from the state as to whether it will continue to recognize the couples’ marriages as the appeal goes forward.