News :: Local

Utah County Faces Lawsuit on Gay Marriage Refusal

by Brady McCombs and Paul Foy
Tuesday Dec 24, 2013
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Derek Kitchen, left, and Moudi Sbeity, one of the gay couples that challenged Utah’s constitutional definition of marriage.
Derek Kitchen, left, and Moudi Sbeity, one of the gay couples that challenged Utah’s constitutional definition of marriage.  (Source:AP Photo/The Deseret News, Tom Smart)

Some Utah counties are being told they could face consequences if they don’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

At least four counties in the state are refusing to give gay couples a marriage license after a judge on Friday declared the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional. One lesbian couple has already filed a lawsuit against a county.

Utah attorney general’s office spokesman Ryan Bruckman says counties could be held in contempt of federal court if they don’t issue licenses. He also says the office hasn’t given any definitive legal guidance to clerks.

At the same time, the attorney general’s office wants a higher court to halt the judge’s ruling and stop gay marriage while they appeal.

At least 700 same-sex couples have married in Utah since the Friday ruling.

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Comments

  • BOB KELLERMAN, 2013-12-25 05:26:19

    Parts of Utah are full of Yosemite Sam mormons who barely tolerate any form of government, but agree to governments that follow mormon church rules. The County Clerks in these places are probably afraid of being shot at, or having their kids beaten up at school, if the Clerks agree to something that mormonity forbids.


  • Anonymous, 2013-12-29 21:12:56

    Certainly there is no way that the Mormon church or any other church should be forced to marry same-sex couples if it is against their beliefs. However, that does not give them the right to deny the right of other churches who support marriage equality to act in accord with their beliefs. Nor does it give them the right to dictate civil law and civil rights. County clerks who refuse to give out marriage licenses to same-sex couples need to realize they have a moral responsibility to do their jobs - regardless of any personal religious beliefs.


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