Thursday, January 9, 2014

Utah governor attempts to stuff marriages back in the bottle

The fortunes of 1,300 newlywed same-sex couples in Utah were thrown into turmoil on Wednesday after the governor’s office announced that it would not recognize their marriages while it presses its legal efforts to limit marriages to one man and one woman... 
Utah is now treading onto relatively untested legal ground. In 2004, the California Supreme Court voided 4,000 same-sex marriages that had been granted in San Francisco that year, saying that the unions were prohibited under state law. 
But four years later, the same court struck down those restrictions as unconstitutional. Thousands of gay Californians were then able to wed before state voters approved Proposition 8, which limited marriage to opposite-sex partners. The same-sex couples who had previously exchanged vows retained their rights....

The state’s decision also does not invalidate any same-sex marriages. Instead, said Mr. Miller, the chief of staff, it effectively suspends them in place, freezing benefit applications or other petitions for legal protections.
Naturally, the only ones who will benefit will be the lawyers:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah announced Thursday that it is planning litigation against the state of Utah for putting recognition of same-sex marriages on hold after theSupreme Court issued a temporary stay
The ACLU called for plaintiffs on Wednesday, and got "overwhelming interest" from couples who were married before the stay was granted.

"We have a great pool and we are working through that, and plan to bring litigation that will protect all marriages, whether the couples are named plaintiffs or not," the ACLU said in a statement.....= 
While Utah put recognition of same-sex marriages "on hold," its decision to do so did not invalidate marriage licenses already issued to gay couples. 
Reyes clarified this distinction to Fox 13 News Salt Lake City
"I want to be clear that we are not saying those marriages are invalid," he said. "However, as a state we cannot recognize those marriages."

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