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"Any decision by the highest courts that results in undoing what the District Court has granted could be more disruptive than awaiting certainty and finality," Reyes said in the statement. "The State looks forward to the day when these issues are resolved and Utah, along with its citizens, have certainty and a clear understanding of the law."
Reyes said that given the uncertain future of Utah’s embattled ban on same-sex marriage — after the state’s voter-approved Amendment 3 was declared unconstitutional by Judge Shelby, it was appealed to the 10th Circuit Court, which could rule any day now — it would be premature to start doling out rights to married same-sex couples.
It is the state’s belief, Reyes said, that if Utah’s same-sex marriage ban were to be reinstated by the appeals court or, eventually, the Supreme Court, the couples who were married in the 17-day window could, again, be forced to live in a limbo of uncertainty.
"If it were somehow possible, an immediate decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on all issues in question, would be welcomed by the State," Reyes said. "In the absence of that, the State will continue to consider every avenue to further the legal process as expeditiously as possible while asking the Courts to stay further action until the ultimate questions regarding recognition of marriage and constitutionality of Utah law can be answered with finality."
Mejía and same-sex marriage advocates argue that logic misses the point of Kimball’s ruling.
"It’s just a basic concept of fairness that when you’re married legally under state law, the state has to recognize that union," Mejía said. "The notion that these are somehow temporary marriages or marriages that could disappear when a panel of judges decides a separate case, that logic doesn’t stand much of a chance."
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