Washington, Jan. 6 (Reuters): The US Supreme Court today halted gay marriage in Utah temporarily by granting a request from state officials appealing a lower-court ruling that had allowed same-sex weddings to go ahead in the heavily Mormon state.
The decision by the court means that gay weddings in the state are now on hold while the case is appealed to the Denver-based 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Hundreds of gay couples in Utah have received marriage licenses since the December 20 ruling by US District Judge Robert Shelby.
Shelby declined to stay his ruling pending appeal, meaning gay couples were able to marry in the state immediately. The appeals court also declined to stay the ruling, leaving the US Supreme Court as the state’s last recourse.
The appeals court has already agreed to hear the case on an expedited schedule, with a February 25 deadline for court papers.