Judge denies Utah’s request for emergency stay, same-sex marriage decision

SALT LAKE CITY – The U.S. District Court for Utah has denied the state’s emergency request for stay of the court’s ruling issued earlier Friday declaring Utah’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

The Utah attorney general’s office released the following statement, in an email received by St. George News at 9:47 p.m. Friday:

The Utah Attorney General’s Office and the plaintiffs in the Amendment 3 lawsuit discussed with U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby this afternoon a stay of his decision prohibiting Utah’s definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.  Judge Shelby declined to stay his decision on the court’s own accord and would not entertain an oral motion to stay.  As a result, the Attorney General’s Office is filing a written motion to stay, which the judge has said he will resolve on an expedited basis.

In a 53-page ruling, Shelby struck down Utah’s Amendment 3 as unconstitutional, stating it “denies the plaintiffs their rights of due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

The attorney general’s office said that it would seek the emergency stay on the ruling, arguing that same-sex marriage as a fundamental right has never been established in any previous case in the 10th Circuit.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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16 Comments

  • Gmom December 20, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    How will this affect polygamists in the state …which has been a longer running and bigger issue in the state?

  • D Hodja December 21, 2013 at 1:01 am

    How is it that our tax dollars are used to support Mormon views on marriage? A Mormon polygamist in the State of Utah is free to marry children who have been groomed since birth for their abuse, but, our good LDS politicians are out fighting consensual relationships between two adults…it is absolutely insane. People need to break out and do some thinking for themselves.

    • SeN December 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

      Polygamy is entirely by choice no one is forced. I think you need to shut your mouth before you speak of things you don’t even understand.

      • Sue Brennan December 21, 2013 at 9:54 am

        SeN: D Hodja is correct in saying that many girls under the age of 14 have been forced to marry older men (even their uncles) and they are groomed for it from childhood. Many of the polygamous communities are very insular and are good at keeping children trapped. Also, I don’t know why you felt you had to tell D. Hodja to shut his/her mouth. It was just an opinion.

  • simone December 21, 2013 at 1:09 am

    YES! 🙂 Finally someone in Utah made the right decision by standing up and striking down a down a law that never should have been there in the first place.

    • Steve December 21, 2013 at 11:03 am

      The majority of the people in Utah voted for the law, so yes it should be there In the first place. You are outnumbered in Utah Simone. Just because one judge disregards the wishes of the voters does not change the views of most people in Utah. And no Simone, I am not Mormon. Enjoy it now but the law will get changed back to what the people want and voted for.

      • Really December 21, 2013 at 11:44 am

        Just because the majority says so, does not make it right. If the majority of voters wanted the US to return to the practice of slavery, do you think that would be ok – simply because the voters said so? NO! Of course not! When a law is enacted that is inherently unconstitutional (like telling a minority they cannot do something because of who they are), it is the judiciary’s responsibility to step in and protect the minority to ensure their rights are also being upheld. Anyone who thinks “majority rules” is the real law of this land does not fully understand our way of government in the USA.

        • Roy J December 21, 2013 at 12:08 pm

          Actually, that is not completely correct. The judiciary is only able to interpret existing laws. So if Congress amended the Constitution to explicitly ban gay marriage, the judiciary is bound to uphold that law. If Congress amended the Constitution and reestablished slavery, the judiciary would have to uphold that law as well. The executive branch might try to veto one or both, and Congress could then try to repass the amendments, at which point no veto is possible from other branches. It has nothing to do with right and wrong at the theoretical and legal level. What would happen as a result might be total revolt, but that is irrelevant to how our rule of law works.

        • Steve December 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm

          I do not think even a small percentage of people would vote for slavery in this day and age. I personally do not hate gays, just don’t agree with what they choose to do. Yes I said choose. I get tired of the same old argument that it doesnt affect me blah blah blah. The people of Utah voted on it and it should be respected. If gays don’t like it, too bad. I respected the laws and voters of California and left. I am not saying gays need to leave, just leave the laws that were voted on be. It only makes people more irritated when they are jamming their views down our throat.

          • Roy J December 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm

            You’re missing the point: your country has never had such a system of law in place as you are talking about. Sorry if you don’t agree, but you are choosing to avoid a long established reality. If you don’t like the laws you can try to change them within the framework or revolt. But why complain about it? Be like the Nitro Circus, man! Go big or go home!

      • Jenn December 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm

        70 years ago people thought it was ok to lynch African Americans for looking at a white woman. They thought that it was okay for African american children to attend substandard schools and drink from separate drinking fountains. It wasn’t til the 70’s that African American people were accepted in to the LDS faith.

        People can be *wrong*, in fact they often are wrong. People are conflating two concepts that often happen at the same time but are still two totally different concepts. The first of these is “Holy Matrimony” which is a sacrament and ritual given importance in many faiths and the second of these is a “Civil Marriage” which is going to the proper place and getting a marriage license and having the proper person perform the ceremony.

        Those are two different concepts and using religion to prevent the union of two people based on gender is unacceptable. .

        • Roy J December 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

          That’s a good point and leads to, I think, the most relevant issue here, which is that culture dictates the creation, interpretation and implementation of the laws. Whose right and wrong aside for a moment, that two concepts of marriage, civil and religious, even exist in the same country ought to be amazing to anybody. If people believe their way is the right way, they are going to have to appeal to the rest of us through their way of living first, if they hope to change the existing laws. Or at least bully us.

      • Brian December 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

        Sorry Steve, you better brush up on your history a bit before making THAT comment. This is from Brown v Board majority opinion from the United States Supreme Court in 1943:

        “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

        • Roy J December 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm

          That is a really good point, too, Brian. It brings up another relevant issue: which, finally, has primacy, amendments by Congress to federal laws, such as that which first established, then repealed prohibition, or judicial precedent, such as the example you stated, which seems to go so far as to interpret and then limit the laws which Congress may enact? I think that this issue is often decided finally by social force.

        • Steve December 21, 2013 at 1:51 pm

          Gays have all of those rights you mentioned above so what is your point. And besides, THAT comment wasn’t supposed to be a history lesson, just my opinion.

  • Kiyasu December 21, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Oh yeah. Polygamy is great. Certainly no history of exploiting women there.

    A) our race is relatively balanced gender wise. Widespread polygyny (which is the only form practiced by the the vast majority of American polygamists.) would create an undercurrent of you men forced to be single. Which ALWAYS results in higher crime.

    B) bullshit on no one is forced. Do you think we’re fucking stupid? There are sooooooooooooooo many abuse cases related to polygamy. (big surprises, polygamists discriminating against women o.O)

    C) it’s not a genuine religious trait, that crack pot Joseph Smith just had a bad habit of making his crimes religious.

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