Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Battle over right to marry continues in federal appeals court

The right to marry has been fought at various times during the course of U.S. history. Decades ago it was African-Americans who pushed for the right to marry whomever they wished, regardless of skin color. Today, a similar battle is being fought by those who wish to marry who they want regardless of gender. As the number of states legalizing same-sex marriage increases and the number of courts striking down anti same-sex marriage legislation continues, it is may be only a matter of time before the issue resolves and becomes a part of history. For the time being however, the struggle continues in Utah.

In the latest courtroom battles over Utah's same-sex marriage ban, four couples are asking a federal appeals court to lift a stay blocking same-sex marriages in Utah. As this blog noted recently, the court granted the stay to allow Utah 21 days to decide whether or not it will appeal an earlier ruling requiring the state to recognize same-sex marriages. Utah is seeking a permanent stay in addition to the temporary stay. The state filed for the stays just two days before the federal judge's ruling was to take effect.

The ruling essentially ordered Utah to recognize the 1,300 marriages that took place in Utah during the three weeks when same-sex marriage was legal in the state. In coming to his decision, the judge noted that there was no precedent in family law for retroactively invalidating a legal marriage in Utah.

While the law remains in a state of flux, Utah residents may find themselves with several questions regarding family law issues. A local attorney can help these individuals address family legal issues and help them protect their best interests.

Source: Deseret News, "Same-sex couples ask appeals court to reject stay in marriage recognition case," Dennis Romboy, June 6, 2014

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