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Utahns React to Supreme Court's Decision to Hear Same Sex Marriage Cases

Utahns around the state are reacting to a decision by the U-S Supreme Court on Friday to rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.  

It was October last year, when the U.S Supreme Court denied petitions to hear same sex marriages from Utah and several other states.  By denying those petitions the High court let stand decisions overturning same-sex marriage bans in the tenth, seventh and fourth federal circuits. But late last year, judges in the sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld same sex marriage bans in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.  The Supreme Court decided on Friday to consider the decision of the Sixth Circuit and answer two questions: are states required to issue same sex marriage licenses under the fourteenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and  are states required to recognize legal same-sex marriages from other states.  Carl Tobias is a law professor at the University of Richmond. He believes that same-sex marriages that took place in Utah will remain intact.

“Marriages that have taken place in places like Utah and Virginia after the Supreme Court denied Certiorari in the appeals, I think those are going to be valid. It would be virtually impossible for the Court to try to unravel those marriages, but I think they would have thought of that in October when they denied the Certiorari petitions, and so my thinking is that they’re likely to reverse the sixth Circuit,” says Tobias.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Governor Gary Herbert lead the fight to keep Utah’s same sex marriage ban intact.  On Friday Governor Herbert said in a statement that he is pleased the Supreme Court will take up same sex marriage.  He said quote that finality can only come from the nation's highest court – end quote.  The Supreme Court is expected to render a decision by June.

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