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Federal appeals court denies Utah's request to halt same-sex marriage licenses

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] on Friday denied Utah's request to block legal recognition of about 1,300 same-sex weddings performed after the state's ban was briefly lifted in December. The request came in response to both the District Court for the District of Utah's ruling in December and the Tenth Circuit's decision in June to uphold [JURIST reports] the lifting of the same-sex marriage ban in Utah. The state of Utah argued [Reuters report] that the recognition of newly married same-sex couples was premature and must wait for a more final national decision on the issue. However, the three-panel judges of the Tenth Circuit found the arguments made by the state of Utah as unpersuasive. The appeals court stated that Utah lacked the proof of irreparable harm to the state as a result of the recent same-sex marriage licenses granted. Utah's Attorney General Sean Reyes [official website] will now look to appeal [press release] to the US Supreme Court.

Since the Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act [text] last year, many federal courts have declared state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. Last month a federal judge in Indiana ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional [JURIST report]. Also in June the ACLU challenged Alabama's same sex marriage ban, days after Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban [JURIST reports] was struck down. In May a federal judge struck down [JURIST report] Pennsylvania's same sex marriage ban. That followed a similar ruling in Oregon, where a federal judge struck down [JURIST report] that state's same sex marriage ban as well.

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