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

The Slatest
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.


The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?


“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.