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Utah County couple who threatened lawsuit plan wedding

Published December 27, 2013 10:55 pm

Utah County • Lehi women say clerk "invited us down" to get license; they invited him to nuptials.
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Two Lehi women are planning their wedding less than a week after taking legal action against Utah County for its refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Shelly Eyre said she and her longtime partner, Cheryl Haws, received a phone call from County Clerk Bryan Thompson on Thursday morning, notifying them that the county would grant them a marriage license — five days after a federal judge struck down Utah's ban on gay marriage.

"He called us just before their office opened and invited us down," Eyre said.

Now the couple are inviting Thompson to their wedding.

In a video posted Thursday, Eyre and Haws announced plans for a New Year's Eve wedding on the steps of the city and county building in Provo.

"We thought we would invite [Thompson] to attend our ceremony," Eyre said, "and while we're doing that, let's invite everyone."

The couple have not decided on the time yet; they are waiting for their daughter to return from her own honeymoon.

"We spent six months with our daughter, making every detail of her wedding just perfect," Eyre said. "We could have gotten married yesterday, but we wanted a chance to put together a few details and have a few folks there who love us."

The couple have not withdrawn their notice of claim, which they filed Monday while Utah County remained one of the few counties in the state defying U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby's order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Eyre and Haws will retain legal counsel, "depending on what happens with the ruling," Eyre said. The state has said it will request from the U.S. Supreme Court a stay halting same-sex marriages as its appeals are heard.

However, Eyre noted, "We feel like we've made our point."

In the announcement video, posted by film producer Kendall Wilcox, Haws said she was happy Thompson had made the personal effort to call them.

"We'd been denied twice, so this was really special," Haws said. "We felt very privileged that he would take the time to call us this morning."

ealberty@sltrib.com

Twitter: @erinalberty