The U.S. Supreme Court halted same-sex marriage in Utah after state officials filed a successful appeal against the decision that had made them legal on Dec. 20.
Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples have exchanged vows since a federal judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban on December 20. With the ruling halted, Utah clerks are barred from issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples pending the appeal. (Via WCAU) (Via WABC)
The state's appeal has been expedited, but even sped up, it could take until the end of February, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Utah became the 18th state to legalize gay marriage when U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby lifted a constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage back in 2004. He said the ban "violated principles of equal protection and due process." (Via The New York Times)
Across the country, judges and officials have been struggling to not only define marriage, but also decide who has the right to get married. Is it the states' decision or the federal government's?
Some Utah residents have taken their protests of the lift on the ban to extreme measures, including calling for an uprising. Another Utah man went on a hunger strike for two weeks. (Via Talking Points Memo / New York Daily News)
If the decision to lift Utah's ban on gay marriage is appealed, it's unclear what it could mean for Utah's hundreds of same-sex newlyweds.