Gay marriage is on hold in Utah after the U.S. Supreme Court halted same-sex nuptials until the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals provides a full ruling on the matter.
The high court issued an order on Monday that blocks same-sex marriage licenses from being granted until the appeals court officially reviews the issue in the coming weeks, the Associated Press reported.
This move comes following an emergency appeal by the state after U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby ruled in favor of gay nuptials on Dec. 20, the AP noted.
Shelby found that a law passed in 2004 by voters in the state violates the rights of same-sex couples. The judge said that Amendment 3, which enacted a constitutional ban on gay marriage, “conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process under the law,” CNN reported.
The amendment was supported by 66 percent of Utahans.
Republican Gov. Gary R. Herbert immediately made his discontent known over Shelby’s ruling and pledged to defend traditional marriage.
“I am very disappointed an activist federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of Utah,” Herbert said in a statement released following the ruling. “I am working with my legal counsel and the acting Attorney General to determine the best course to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah.”
As CNN reported, this move by the Supreme Court is not a definitive ruling on the constitutionality of the state’s gay marriage ban.
Already more than 900 gay couples have married.
This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.