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Judge Denies Request to Stay Gay Marriage Ruling

Gay marriages will continue in Utah-- for now. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby has denied the Utah Attorney General’s request to stay Friday’s landmark ruling.

About 700 people lined the halls of the Salt Lake County Clerk’s office Monday, after Judge Robert Shelby denied the state’s request to mandate counties stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.

Isaac Troyo says he and his partner Jed Mecham arrived at 10 pm on Sunday, anxious to make it official before Judge Shelby was scheduled to announce his decision.

“And this was actually our fourth attempt because we did Salt Lake on Friday, Davis County, that didn’t work out, Weber County and now today,” Troyo says. “So after a long, long wait and a lot of suffering waiting in the cold, it’s finally here.”

Clerks in a handful of counties have cited logistic and legal roadblocks to issuing marriage licenses after Shelby’s decision to overturn Utah’s ban on same sex marriage

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherry Swenson began issuing licenses early Friday. But she says she understands why clerks elsewhere are being cautious.

“I’m not an attorney and most of them aren’t attorneys and so that’s the process,” Swenson says. “I probably would have followed in the same situation, but in my case, because I was named as a defendant in the lawsuit, the order came right to my attorney and he’s the one that told me.”

Attorneys for the state have already filed an emergency motion with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals hoping that the higher court will stay Judge Shelby’s ruling. 

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