State Granted Extra Month For Gay Marriage Appeal

Aug 26, 2014

Tuesday a federal appeals court granted the state of Utah an extra month to file its appeal of a federal order that would require the state to recognize the nearly 1,300 same-sex couples married between December and January.

The state of Utah was granted an extra month to file an appeal in a case that could decide the rights granted to gay couples married between Dec. of 2013 and Jan. of 2014.

The new deadline for the state’s appeal to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is Oct. 22.

In May, Federal Judge Kimball said the state had placed the couples married during the 17 day period in “legal limbo with respect to adoptions, child care and custody, medical decisions,” and other rights associated with marriage. However, Kimball’s ruling that Utah must recognize the couples was put on hold, giving the state a chance to appeal the ruling.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the four plaintiff couples in the case pushing for recognition of the marriages, says the longer wait for benefits may bring harm to the hundreds of couples married earlier this year.

UPR spoke with ACLU of Utah’s Legal Director John Mejia in a July 17 interview about the case.

“We think that the 10th Circuit was right that the state should be required to recognize these marriages immediately, and that the state is not irreparable harmed by recognizing these marriages because it’s unconstitutional not to recognize them because they were valid when solemnized and recognizing valid marriages is not harmful to the state, and to the contrary it’s harmful to those couples who were married and are now in limbo,” Mejia said.

The state continues to wait on the Supreme Court to take on one or more of the same-sex marriage legal appeals from across the nation before Utah’s Kitchen v. Herbert case can be resolved.