US Supreme Court Temporarily Stops Gay Marriages in Utah

Gay Marriage In Utah

The issue of gay marriage has taken many twists and turns in Utah over the past few weeks.  A few days before the Christmas holiday, Judge Robert Shelby of Utah’s Federal District Court ruled that Utah’s Constitutional Amendment 3 violates the United States’ Constitution.  Immediately after his ruling, many gay and lesbian couples in Utah flocked to county clerks to obtain marriage licenses.  Salt Lake County immediately issued licenses but the Utah County clerk refused licenses to gay and lesbian couples for a week pending the resolution of the attorney general’s office asking for a stay (stop) to the ruling.

Utah’s Attorney General’s office asked Judge Shelby to stay his ruling pending an appeal to the 10th circuit Court of Appeals.  Judge Shelby refused so the state asked the 10th circuit to stay the ruling.  The 10th circuit denied to pause new marriages too so the state appealed to the US Supreme Court.  Yesterday, the US Supreme Court granted the state’s request for a stay.  The Court’s decision temporarily halts any new gay marriages until the case completes the appeals process.

No Same-Sex Marriage Means No Same-Sex Divorce

The Supreme Court’s decision not only halts future same-sex marriages, it stops any same-sex couples from filing for divorce in Utah.  The Court’s decision essentially reverts Utah marriage law to the way it was before Judge Shelby’s ruling.  This means same-sex marriages in Utah are not recognized and cannot be terminated.  In other words, married gay and lesbian couples in Utah cannot be granted a divorce by a Utah court.  News sources reported that after the legalization of gay marriage in Utah some same-sex couples filed for divorce.  These couples were married in other states where gay marriage is legal.  As Utah residents, however, they could not divorce because Utah law prohibits Utah courts from granting divorces of gay and lesbian couples.  Once again, these couples cannot divorce and they are denied the benefits of family law related protections such as child custody and property division orders.

Help for Divorcing Same-Sex Couples

Provo Divorce Lawyers will closely follow the issue of same-sex marriage in Utah.  Though same-sex divorce is not currently allowed in Utah, there may be different things a Provo Divorce Lawyer can do to help those gay and lesbian couples looking for divorce options.  Call 801.800.8247 to speak with a Provo Divorce Lawyer today.

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