Justices Block Gay Marriage in Utah During Appeal of Case

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The Supreme Court on Monday blocked further same-sex marriages in Utah while state officials appeal a decision allowing such unions.

 

The terse order, from the full court, issued a stay “pending final disposition” of an appeal to the federal appeals court in Denver. It offered no reasoning.

The Supreme Court acted more than two weeks after a federal judge in Salt Lake City on Dec. 20 struck downUtah’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying it violated principles of equal protection and due process. Judge Robert J. Shelby of Federal District Court refused to stay his decision while it was appealed, as did the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver.

Judge Shelby’s decision made Utah the 18th state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow same-sex marriages, and many hundreds of gay and lesbian couples have married there in the intervening weeks. Should a higher court ultimately reverse Judge Shelby’s ruling, it is not clear what would happen to those marriages.

Written By: Adam Liptak
continue to source article at nytimes.com

26 COMMENTS

  1. In reply to #1 by aroundtown:

    The supreme court is comprised of individuals who believe in religion and invisible friends so I am not surprised with their actions. Privately in their heart of hearts they probably feel that they have done gods will on earth. To say that I am disheartened with this situation would be an understa…

    This ruling doesn’t signal anything as far as the Supreme Court’s eventual ruling. This is a common practice for any law that is under appeal to the Supreme Court, that the DA will ask for and get a stay on acting on the decision of the lower court until the supreme court rules.

    Actually, the fact that so many people were able to get married right after the lower court ruling was completely due to incompetence by the state (GOP) government over-seeing the case. The normal practice would have been to request a stay immediately after the ruling which would almost certainly have been granted by the lower court. They just forgot to do that and the clever legal people on the gay rights side saw the chance and encouraged people to get married while they could, before the state had a chance to rectify their mistake.

    This law will almost certainly be struck down by the Supreme Court given the way they have ruled on similar laws recently. I’m actually a bit surprised they even agreed to hear it, there must be some subtle difference between this law and other rulings but the clear trend on this is for the majority to be pro gay rights.

    • In reply to #3 by Red Dog:

      This ruling doesn’t signal anything as far as the Supreme Court’s eventual ruling. This is a common practice for any law that is under appeal to the Supreme Court …

      Yep. The SCOTUS always wants to preserve its right to reverse a lower Court, even it they are not likely to do so. In this case, not issuing the injunction would have allowed facts on the ground to become so far along that by the time the SCOTUS heard the case, their hands would have been tied. I agree that they will have to rule for marriage equality, anyway, because the large number of States that have it put too much pressure on full recognition by all the States thanks to the “Full Faith and Credit Clause” even if they don’t rule it a basic rights issue.

      • In reply to #5 by Quine:

        In reply to #3 by Red Dog:

        I agree that they will have to rule for marriage equality, anyway, because the large number of States that have it put too much pressure on full recognition by all the States thanks to the “Full Faith and Credit Clause” even if they don’t rule it a basic rights issue.

        Except that the Defense of Marriage Act trumps the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution.

        More specifically:

        No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship

        And the last I checked the above clause was still the law of the land.

        BC

          • In reply to #19 by Red Dog:

            Well you need to check again. DOMA was ruled unconstitutional by the supreme court a few months ago:

            Only the third clause which stated,

            In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

            was ruled unconstitutional.

            The second clause, which I quoted in my original post, was not touched by the ruling as it is perfectly legal under the Constitution of the United States.

            People tend to forget the second part to the “Full Faith and Credit Clause”.

            Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.

            So until such time as Congress repeals what remains of DOMA it is still the law of the land and no state can be forced to recognize the same sex marriages that occur in states where it is legal. They simply don’t have to under the law.

            BC

          • In reply to #20 by Benny Cemoli:

            In reply to #19 by Red Dog:

            Well you need to check again. DOMA was ruled unconstitutional by the supreme court a few months ago:

            Only the third clause which stated,

            In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bur…

            Did you read the article I linked to? It said that DOMA was repealed. Period. Not one part of it. The intro of the article:

            “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

            “The federal statute is invalid”. The whole thing, not one clause. Perhaps on the Fox News channel DOMA still exists but not in the real world.

    • Actually, the fact that so many people were able to get married right after the lower court ruling was completely due to incompetence by the state (GOP) government over-seeing the case. The normal practice would have been to request a stay immediately after the ruling which would almost certainly have been granted by the lower court.

      Actually this not true. The state, following procedure, immediately requested a stay pending appeal from the trial court, which was denied, and then requested a stay from the appellate court (which will now hear the appeal), which was also denied. The face that so many people (about 900 licenses have been issued to same-sex couples in Utah) are in legal limbo rests squarely on the shoulders of the trial and appellate courts for failing to issues a stay in a case certain to be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court..

      • In reply to #16 by lfaatsnat:

        Actually this not true. The state, following procedure, immediately requested a stay pending appeal from the trial court, which was denied, and then requested a stay from the appellate court (which will now hear the appeal), which was also denied. The face that so many people (about 900 licenses have been issued to same-sex couples in Utah) are in legal limbo rests squarely on the shoulders of the trial and appellate courts for failing to issues a stay in a case certain to be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court

        According to this report from Rachel Maddow what I said was accurate:

        Rachel Maddow: Utah AG Seeks help

        The error was the AG forgot to request the court to issue a stay. It’s not the court’s job to do that on their own.

      • In reply to #7 by Quine:

        In reply to #6 by bluebird:

        Does this mean Trestin Meacham can have a snack?

        I thought of him chowing down as soon as I heard about the ruling. ;-)

        What an arse that guy!!… Now he’s saying he’s disappointed because his “supporters” have only sent him one pizza so far. So this is what this was all about? Free pizza??? And WE are the bad guys for wishing him success in his goal to “let himself die of hunger” !!??? (yeah right!!)

        I never believed for a second this clown would go though with it. That’s all it was: a whole lot of hot wind. If he was a sincere believer, he wouldn’t have chosen free pizza over dying a martyr and becoming a saint in paradise. He’s nothing but a typical religious knee-jerk hypocrite.

        • In reply to #9 by NearlyNakedApe:

          In reply to #7 by Quine:

          In reply to #6 by bluebird:

          Does this mean Trestin Meacham can have a snack?

          I thought of him chowing down as soon as I heard about the ruling. ;-)

          What an arse that guy!!… Now he’s saying he’s disappointed because his “supporters” have only sent him one pizza so far….

          My thoughts were the same when I read that Tweet about the pizza in the link Quine provided, and I nearly posted a similar comment to your own. But then I realized this pie was probably sent to Trestin Meacham as a bit of a taunt; rather like when David Blane performed one of his asinine stunts a few years ago where he sat in a perspex box suspended over the River Thames for several days without food and the people of Great Britain – and never has the ‘Great’ been so appropriate – pelted the box with burgers and other fast food in a show of contempt for the preening gitwizard. I think Meacham was making a joke in response to his tormentors. ‘Is that all ya got’ sort of thing.

  2. Why the fuck is this even an issue? Why the hell are religious people so interested in the lives of others when there exists plenty of things in their own community that needs work.

    • In reply to #8 by Mormon Atheist:

      Why the fuck is this even an issue? Why the hell are religious people so interested in the lives of others when there exists plenty of things in their own community that needs work.

      Yes, this from a religion that practised (and would still practice-if legal) polygamy. Get your nose out of others lives!

    • In reply to #8 by Mormon Atheist:

      Why the fuck is this even an issue? Why the hell are religious people so interested in the lives of others when there exists plenty of things in their own community that needs work.

      Too true. You will find “social ills” in abundance in the Bible Belt: divorce, out-of-wedlock births, porn consumption, teen pregnancy, etc. Take the beam from your own eye before the splinter from another’s, as the Bible says….

  3. The whole scheme of putting gay marriage to a vote in the first place pisses me off. What other human rights have to be approved by a majority before we decide the group in question “deserves” them? I’m so frigging sick and tired of religious groups acting like they’ve got some sort of monopoly on defining and dishing out rights and that their rights are being infringed upon by granting those same rights to others. Besides, Mormons getting snooty about the morality of gay marriage is really rich, considering Mormon history.

    I hope the Supreme Court comes to its senses but given Sotomayor’s recent religiously-biased decision on the ACA birth-control mandate, I’m feeling somewhat pessimistic.

    • In reply to #12 by Sue Blue:

      The whole scheme of putting gay marriage to a vote in the first place pisses me off. What other human rights have to be approved by a majority before we decide the group in question “deserves” them? I’m so frigging sick and tired of religious groups acting like they’ve got some sort of monopoly on…

      Don’t sweat it, Sue. The SCOTUS ruled in the Prop-8 case that voters (even backed by the churches) can’t take away rights. That is over. And Sotomayor did not make a ruling, she just put in the usual delay the Court likes before getting down to it.

  4. In reply to Katy Cordeth # 10.

    It’s not really any of my business, so please forgive me for asking, but as a matter of fact, would your initials actually be M. B. by any chance?

    S. G.

    • In reply to #15 by Stafford Gordon:

      In reply to Katy Cordeth # 10.

      It’s not really any of my business, so please forgive me for asking, but as a matter of fact, would your initials actually be M. B. by any chance?

      S. G.

      If I had a penny for every time someone asked me if I was the disgraced former mayor of the District of Columbia, Stafford…

  5. Ever thought about the question if the concept of marriage isn’t wrong at all? If I’m right than gay marriage is as wrong as hetero marriage is.To me this feels a little like someone who belongs to a minority that is discriminated by the surrounding majority and still wants to be part of that majority! Why, in the first place? This majority shows you by discriminating (your sex, your skin colour or whatsoever) that it is not a group you should want to belong to! But the discrimination of gays in any context is utterly wrong!

  6. Ever thought about the question if the concept of marriage isn’t wrong at all? If I’m right than gay marriage is as wrong as hetero marriage is.To me this feels a little like someone who belongs to a minority that is discriminated by the surrounding majority and still wants to be part of that majority! Why, in the first place? This majority shows you by discriminating (your sex, your skin colour or whatsoever) that it is not a group you should want to belong to! But the discrimination of gays in any context is utterly wrong!

  7. According to this report from Rachel Maddow what I said was accurate:

    [Rachel Maddow: Utah AG Seeks help] (http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/utah-ag-seeks-help-to-end-marriage-equality-105685059615)

    The error was the AG forgot to request the court to issue a stay. It’s not the court’s job to do that on their own.

    Not unsurprisingly, Maddow overstates the significances of this. The same judge refused a stay the next business day, saying the state’s original arguments were insufficient for a stay. I.e, he would have denied the stay even if it had been requested with the previous filings.

    Judge denies Utah AG’s request for stay

  8. In reply to #21 by Red Dog:

    In reply to #20 by Benny Cemoli:

    “The federal statute is invalid”. The whole thing, not one clause. Perhaps on the Fox News channel DOMA still exists but not in the real world.

    Perhaps you should read the actual ruling of the court before you start throwing around patently absurd claims and then insults. Here’s a Link (supremecourt.gov) for your edification. Please show me anywhere in that ruling that overturns the entirety of DOMA. I’ll give you a hint though, nowhere does it overturn the entirety of DOMA it only rules on the constitutionality of Clause 3.

    And by the way, you actually consider HuffPo an unbiased source of information? LOL That’s funny.

    BC

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