Trial Court Denies Stay In Utah Marriage Case, Same-Sex Couples Marry, Case Goes On Appeal
Updated: State officials in Utah have filed an appeal, are seeking a stay from the 10th Circuit, and the plaintiffs have opposed the request for a stay.
U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby refused Monday to put his order that same-sex couples in Utah be allowed to marry on hold while the state appeals the Friday decision.
"The court denies the defendant's motion to stay. An order will be issued by the court," an entry on the court's docket noted late Monday afternoon.
After a weekend flurry of requests to halt the marriages, same-sex couples began marrying Monday morning in several Utah counties — weddings that will continue, for now at least, following Shelby's Monday ruling — reported from Utah by Fox 13's Ben Winslow.
Shelby, who ruled Friday that the state's 2004 ban on same-sex couples marrying was unconstitutional, ruled Monday morning that the state had not made the case for a stay of that ruling while the case is appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
State officials will now take that request — called a stay pending appeal — to the 10th Circuit itself, which has stated that it would consider such a request if denied by Shelby.
Update - 2:40 p.m. ET: State officials have filed their request for a stay of the trial court order pending appeal with the 10th Circuit — along with a request for a temporary stay while that request is being considered.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs have responded, stating that they will file an opposition to the state's request by the end of the day Monday.
Update - 3:30 p.m. ET: The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered that any response by the plaintiffs to the state's request be filed by 5 p.m. MT Monday.
Update - 7:05 p.m. ET: The plaintiffs filed their opposition at 4:59 p.m. MT.
Update - 8:45 p.m. ET: Judge Shelby's written order denying the state's stay request notes that "the status quo is currently that same-sex couples are allowed to marry in the State of Utah."
He began his order by making clear that the state only asked for a stay of the order after the decision was issued Friday, writing, "The court's Order did not include a stay of its judgment as none had been requested by the State."
In describing the harms faced by same-sex couples if Shelby were to have issued a stay, he wrote, "[S]ome couples, including Plaintiffs Karen Archer and Kate Call, may be facing serious illness or other issues that do not allow them the luxury of waiting for such a delay."
Update - 2:50 p.m. ET Dec. 24, 2013: The state filed a "Supplement to Factual Background" to its 10th Circuit motion for a stay pending appeal. The statement comes in the form of a declaration from Utah Assistant Attorney General Stanford Purser, who detailed the timeline of what the state did about pursuing a stay on Friday.