Utah must provide benefits for same- sex couples married during a two-week period after a federal judge in December struck down the state’s ban on such unions.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver last month upheld the ruling overturning the state’s ban, while putting it on hold for further appeals.
Today’s ruling by the same appeals courts affects more than 1,000 same-sex couples who received marriage licenses from Dec. 23 to Jan. 6, after the judge in Salt Lake City judge ruled Utah’s ban was unconstitutional and before the U.S. Supreme Court put the ruling on hold to allow the state to appeal.
Missy Larsen, a spokeswoman for the Utah attorney general’s office, said the state is preparing to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to put the marital benefits back on hold.
“The state recognizes that pending cases regarding same- sex marriage in Utah impact the lives of many individuals and families and is diligently seeking uniform certainty through proper and orderly legal processes until” the legality of the state’s ban is resolved, she said in an e-mail.
The Denver appeals court said that, in order to give the state time to ask the Supreme Court for review, its ruling today won’t take effect until July 21.
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