Marriage equality has been put on hold in Utah Monday after the Supreme Court issued a one-paragraph stay order halting gay marriage in the state. The ruling puts gay marriage on hold in Utah until an appeals court can figure out whether Utah's law banning same-sex marriage violates the Constitution. As is typical with lower-court cases, Justice Sonya Sotomayor's order didn't give any explanation for the court's decision to place a halt on the marriages.
The constitutionality of the same-sex marriage ban was first called into question by Judge Robert J. Shelby, who ruled that it violated the equal rights clause in the constitution and upended the ban. The shocking ruling allowed hundreds of couples to get married last month.
When Shelby's decision was challenged by Utah bigwigs, including Governor Gary Herbert and his minions, the judge stood by his statement (shocker) to allow marriages for all to continue. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes then filed a case with the Supreme Court a week after Shelby stuck by his own decision, and stated his goal was “to minimize the enormous disruption to the state and its citizens of potentially having to ‘unwind’ thousands of same-sex marriages.”
This time, the emergency stay he wanted was granted.
Legal arguments for both sides of the issue will now be turned in to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Denver, by the end of the month. If the court decides to reverse Shelby's ruling, the same-sex marriages that have taken place in Utah will likely be null and void.