Same-sex marriages will continue their legal status in Utah for the time being despite pleas from state officials to halt them.
"The federal judge who overturned Utah's ban on same-sex marriage just denied the state's request to put his ruling on hold, making Utah the first red state ... to allow gay couples to marry." (Via MSNBC)
The state is appealing a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby last week that the ban is unconstitutional. The state wanted to stop gay couples from getting married while it appealed, but Monday's ruling will let those couples keep tying the knot. (Via WJLA) (Via WABC)
"Judge Shelby, as he did in his decision last Friday, followed the law."
"The state's disappointed with the court's ruling, but we're prepared to proceed to the next step." (Via KUTV)
According to USA Today, this makes Utah the 18th state where gay and lesbian couples can get married, at least for now. State lawyers are expected to appeal to a higher court to put a halt to the marriages.
The ruling came as a surprise to the conservative state, home of the Mormon church that's helped back many same-sex marriage bans around the nation.
And Utah Governor Gary Herbert was extremely displeased by the ruling, calling Judge Shelby an “activist federal judge attempting to override the will of the people of Utah.” (Via NBC)
Earlier this month, New Mexico and Hawaii both began allowing same-sex marriages.