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Federal Judge Will Consider Utah's Request for a Stay in Gay Marriage Ruling

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Andrea Smardon
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Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen were among the plaintiffs in the suit challenging Utah's law prohibiting same-sex marriage. In this photo, they're celebrating the U.S Supreme Court decision invalidating parts of the Defense of Marriage Act.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby will consider a request from Utah to stop gay weddings that been happening since Friday afternoon last week.  It was on that day that Shelby issued a ruling striking down Amendment 3, Utah’s law banning same sex marriage in the state. He ruled that the law violates the rights of gay and lesbian couples  under the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. On Sunday a federal appeals court rejected the state’s emergency request to stay the decision.  Attorneys for Utah want the ruling put on hold as they prepare to appeal the decision.  Shelby is scheduled to hold a hearing on that request, beginning at 9 a.m. Monday. 

After Shelby’s ruling on Friday afternoon, dozens of gay couple rushed down to the County Clerks’s office to obtain marriage licenses and perform wedding ceremonies more than 100 couples were married including State Senator Jim Dabakis who married his long-time partner Stephen Justesen.  Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker presided over that ceremony.  It’s still unclear if the marriages that took place after Shelby’s ruling would still be valid if a stay is granted.

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