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Utah asks appeals court to block judge’s orders in adoption cases

Despite judge’s orders, Department of Health refuses to issue new birth certificate for same-sex couple’s child.

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"The state has known about these adoptions and could have filed for declaratory relief and not gone the "emergency" route," she said. "My clients feel that the state is intentionally bullying them."

But attorneys for Utah say the judges’ orders are contrary to the law now in effect,which says the state "will not recognize, enforce, or give legal effect" to any law that gives marriage rights to same-sex couples. Without a stay, the department, the couple and Utah’s law will experience "significant harm," the petition said.

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"If the Department of Health does not comply on the grounds that the judge has abused his discretion by issuing an order that violates the Utah Constitution and its laws, the Department of Health, and its agents, face the possibility of contempt sanctions," the petition filed against Hruby-Mills states.

And if the department complies with the order, it will be violating Utah law and the couple may be harmed by "wrongly" relying on an "illegally-issued birth certificate for other benefits and protections not provided by Utah law."

Those benefits include being able to provide health insurance for the child, and having both parents able to make medical decisions and tax benefits.

Although the state said that only the judges were required to respond to the petition, it was unclear to Gray what action her clients might have to take now.

"We are scrambling to respond to the state’s massive court filings, but my clients do not have the money to fight the state of Utah," she said. "This is money being taken away from my clients and their children. This is causing my clients and their families extreme emotional turmoil."


Twitter: @Brooke4Trib

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