Utah Can Ignore Same Sex Marriages For Now
(CN) - Utah can ignore same sex marriages performed within the state, at least for now, the U.S. Supreme Court said.
The high court stayed a May ruling that ordered Utah to recognize gay marriages performed last winter, pending a 10th Circuit appeals decision, according to a two-sentence ruling issued Friday.
The application for stay was presented to Justice Sotomayor. The Supreme Court order follows a temporary stay granted by the 10th Circuit last month.
A federal judge struck down Utah's gay marriage ban in December, allowing same-sex couples to marry in a 17-day window before the Supreme Court stayed that injunction in January.
Utah says that its predominantly Mormon population supports a gay marriage ban. It also said that the federal judge's decision to lift the ban interferes with the state's ability to enforce its laws.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sided with gay marriage supporters in January, saying the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages even if Utah does not.
"These marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages," Holder said. "These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds."