A decision by U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby is the "starting point for resolution" of Utah’s right to define marriage, the state said in a reply filed Monday with the U.S. Supreme Court.
Until the "recurring" question of whether the U.S. Constitution requires recognition of such same-sex marriages is resolved, Utah should not be forced to license, perform and recognize such marriages during the interim, it says.
The state said attorneys for three same-sex couples who successfully challenged Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage "quibble around the edges" and fail to offer any persuasive rebuttal to the state’s argument that Shelby’s Dec. 20 order should be stayed while it appeals the ruling.
The plaintiffs filed their brief before the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday.
Utah’s stay application is being reviewing by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is assigned to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Tribune will continue to update this story.
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