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Federal court: No halt to gay marriages in Utah

9:10 PM, Dec 24, 2013   |    comments
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SALT LAKE CITY -- The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the state's request to stop gay marriages in Utah.

Same-sex couples have been getting married, one every few minutes, in the lobby of the Salt Lake County clerk's office Monday.

And they were elated at the news that a federal judge wouldn't be blocking those weddings from taking place.

Judge Robert Shelby, who overturned Utah's ban on same-sex marriage Friday, Monday allowed the weddings to continue -- rejecting a request to put them on hold while the state appeals his decision.

The appeals court ruling late Tuesday means county clerks can continue to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians. Nearly 700 gay couples have obtained marriage licenses since Friday.

One man said he and his partner were in a panic to get married this morning before the judge could stop the issuance of licenses. Adam Blatter said, "We expected Utah to be the last place we could get married."

The judge's decision to strike down a law passed by voters in 2004 drew attention given Utah's long-standing opposition to gay marriage and its position as headquarters for the Mormon church.

(Associated Press)

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