The Slatest

Federal Court Denies Halt on Same-Sex Marriages in Utah

A car flies the gay pride flag past the Mormon Conference center on October 3, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

Some late, but good news for gay rights advocates in Utah. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the state’s request for a hold on same-sex marriages. The state had requested a stay while they appealed a ruling, issued last Friday, which overturned Utah’s ban on gay marriages.

Time may prove a valuable weapon in the ongoing court battle, as reported by the Salt Lake Tribune:

The longer same-sex marriage is allowed to continue in Utah, the more licenses will likely be issued and the more couples will likely wed. This, state’s attorney Philip Lott said Monday, will only cause problems for the state, which has not had ample time to prepare for what consequences these unions might entail.

So how much time are we talking? The Tribune expects the appeals process to take at least a few months. Utah’s only remaining option to temporarily halt the marriages is the U.S. Supreme Court, notes The Associated Press. In the meantime, nearly 700 same-sex couples have obtained marriage licenses since last Friday’s ruling. You can read more about that decision which surprisingly, as Mark Joseph Stern argues in Slate, takes a page out of Justice Antonin Scalia’s rule book.