Federal Judge Orders Utah to Recognize 1000-Plus Same-Sex Marriages Performed in State

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 19 2014 7:28 PM

Federal Judge Orders Utah to Recognize 1000-Plus Same-Sex Marriages Performed in State

Court orders Utah to recognize same-sex marriages already performed in state.

Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images

A federal judge ordered Utah on Monday to recognize the 1,000-plus same-sex marriages that were performed in the state during a two-and-a-half week window before the U.S. Supreme Court put a temporary halt to the practice so that it could be appealed. The marriages took place from Dec. 20, 2013 through Jan. 4, 2014 after a federal court overturned Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. On Monday, the District Court Judge noted, the Salt Lake Tribune reports, “these marriages cannot be made illegal retroactively, despite a U.S. Supreme Court stay that halted such weddings.”

Here’s more from the Associated Press:

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in January on behalf of four couples who said the state's decision to freeze benefits for same-sex couples violated their rights. The couples cited concerns such as having a partner legally recognized as a child's second parent… Utah officials argued that they had no choice but to hold off on benefits until an appeals court rules on the state's same-sex marriage ban.
U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball disagreed in his ruling Monday, saying Utah's decision to freeze all benefits put the couples in an unacceptable legal limbo regarding adoptions, child care and custody, medical decisions and inheritance, among other things.

“The stay that was imposed by the U.S. Supreme Court — halting the marriages and reverting the state to its 'status quo' of banning gay and lesbian unions — has no bearing on the couples who were issued marriage licenses by Utah county clerks, the judge wrote,” according to the Tribune. The judge, however, delayed the implementation of the order to recognize the marriages for 21 days to allow for the Utah attorney general’s office to appeal the decision. The appeals court is already in the process of deciding whether the initial federal court decision to overturn Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage will stand.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.