Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Court places temporary hold on Utah same-sex marriage ruling

The United States Supreme Court is in many ways the last word on a legal issue. Since its creation the Court has made a number of historic decisions that have had a lasting effect on the daily lives of every person in the United States. The current family law issue on the minds of many American's is the status of same-sex marriage across the Nation. With the wide divide between states that allow for same-sex marriages and those that don't it will likely take a Supreme Court ruling to settle the matter once and for all.

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay of the U.S. District Court's ruling invalidating Utah's prohibition against same-sex marriages. The move comes as Utah seeks to make it's argument in support of the ban and, while the move does not speak to the court's position on the issue, it has left over 1,000 couples who were married during the two weeks the law was invalidated in a sort of legal limbo. Some couples have received a license but have yet to wed while others have completed all the requirements and are legally married. Whether Utah will prevail on its appeal is yet to be seen and it is likely that the issue will return to the U.S. Supreme Court before any final decision is made.

Stays such as the one the Supreme Court issued can be sought in a wide variety of cases although they are more commonly recognized in life and death cases such as prisoner executions. The stay will return the issue to the Court of Appeals which originally denied the state's stay. All arguments and replies are expected to be completed by the end of February.

Until the final word is given those who are married or expecting to marry before their license expires will be living with the unknown.

Source: Deseret News, "U.S. Supreme Court puts same-sex marriage in Utah on hold," Dennis Romboy, Jan. 6, 2014

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