Days after striking down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, a federal judge on Monday denied a request by the state to halt gay weddings already under way there.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby’s ruling on the ban Friday made the conservative state—home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a leading opponent of gay marriage—the 18th in the country to allow same-sex weddings.
The Utah State Attorney General is now asking the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay while the state appeals the case, said Ryan Bruckman, a spokesman for the attorney general. “We thought a stay would be the best way to deal with the chaotic situation that has arisen from the ruling,” he said.
Couples continued to line up to wed in Salt Lake County on Monday, according to officials in the state’s most populous county, who said they had issued over 300 marriage licenses to same-sex couples since Friday’s ruling.