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Lawyers for same-sex couples fight Utah’s request for delay in appeal

Sunday, January 19, 2014
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SALT LAKE CITY — Lawyers for Utah’s same-sex couples are asking a federal appeals court to deny state officials’ request for more time to prepare arguments in defense of Utah’s same-sex marriage ban.

Derek Kitchen (left) and his partner Moudi Sbeity are lead plaintiffs in the challenge to Utah's ban on same-sex marriage.

AP
Derek Kitchen (left) and his partner Moudi Sbeity are lead plaintiffs in the challenge to Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The lawyers, in a court document filed Saturday, say thousands of same-sex couples are experiencing “immediate and irreparable injury” from being denied the right to marry or from having their marriages recognized by the state each day the appeal continues.

They also maintain there are no “extraordinary circumstances” to justify the delay.

The Utah attorney general’s office, in a motion filed Friday, is asking for a 10-day extension in part to be able bring its newly-chosen team of private attorneys up to speed.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has set an expedited schedule and a deadline of Jan. 27 for opening briefs.

A federal judge overturned Utah’s gay marriage ban on Dec. 20. Hundreds of couples married until the U.S. Supr eme Court halted the weddings on Jan. 6.

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