Utah Gay Marriage: Will It Be Allowed?

Utah Gay marriages are still not to be recognized nor performed during a federal case which is currently underway. The office of Gov. Gary Richardson said yesterday that no state service related paperwork was to be processed for same-sex marriages in the state, such as the changing of names on documents like driving licences.

The Governor’s directive said:

“We … recognize that these changes affect real people’s lives. So please carefully and considerately ensure that state employees continue to treat all people with respect and understanding.”

Nina Totenberg, legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio, spoke to Audie Cornish on NRP’s All Things Considered show about the issue of gay marriage in Utah. Cornish asked Totenberg:

“So as we understand it now, before gay marriages were halted in Utah, there were some 900-plus couples that had been married. What happens to those marriages? Are they legal?”

Totenberg replied:

“Well, a lot depends on what happens with the appeal. But regardless, these were marriages that were legal when they took place. So even if Utah were ultimately to prevail, there would likely be litigation over the legality of these unions.”

Totenberg was then asked by the host of the show:

“And with the timetable here, help us understand whether it’s going to be the Utah case as opposed to some other that will decide this issue?”

To which the she replied:

“We don’t really know. There are three cases that are either in or headed for appeals courts, cases that have been decided by district court judges. First, there’s the Utah case. The 10th Circuit Appeals Court has set out a schedule for briefs in the case to be filed by the end of February, which likely means oral arguments in March.”

It remains to be seen what will happen with gay marriage in Utah as, once again, there is conflict between federal and state legislation