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Utah: ‘Recognition of same-sex marital status ON HOLD until further notice’

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah governor Gary Herbert’s office late Tuesday instructed state agencies not to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples that were solemnized in the 17 days between a federal judge’s ruling to allow same-sex marriage in Utah, and the U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday to stay the ruling pending appeal.

Gov. Gary Herbert (R-Utah)

Gov. Gary Herbert (R-Utah)

The letter, signed by Herbert’s chief of staff, indicated that “based on counsel from the Attorney General’s Office regarding the Supreme Court decision, state recognition of same-sex marital status is ON HOLD until further notice.”

With the district court injunction now stayed, the original laws governing marriage in Utah return to effect pending final resolution by the courts. It is important to understand that those laws include not only a prohibition of performing same-sex marriages but also recognizing same-sex marriages.

Based on counsel from the Attorney General’s Office regarding the Supreme Court decision, state recognition of same-sex marital status is ON HOLD until further notice. Please understand this position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages – that is for the courts to decide. The intent of this communication is to direct state agency compliance with current laws that prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages.

Wherever individuals are in the process of availing themselves of state services related to same-sex marital status, that process is on hold and will stay exactly in that position until a final court decision is issued. For example, if a same-sex married couple previously changed their names on new drivers licenses, those licenses should not be revoked. If a same-sex couple seeks to change their names on drivers licenses now, the law does not allow the state agency to recognize the marriage therefore the new drivers licenses cannot be issued.

More than 1,000 same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses from county clerks in Utah in the past two weeks – but not all of them legally married.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen says the marriage license itself means nothing unless there is a ceremony with an officiator and two witnesses.

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58 more reader comments:

  1. at least they didn’t get rid of it completely

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:08pm
  2. I say, boycott every product that comes from Utah, let’s see how they like that!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:08pm
  3. Screw you Utah and the horse you rode in on

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:09pm
  4. fuck this guy

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:10pm
  5. I don’t think he can ignore a legally issued license, but we can certainly ignore him

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:10pm
  6. I hate, hate, hate, hate living in UT. Seriously.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:11pm
  7. Jerks

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:11pm
  8. I think same-couples who were married LEGALLY, should file a joint lawsuit.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:15pm
  9. Anul retentives, look it up if you can read.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:16pm
  10. “HI! We’re angry old white men who don’t have interesting lives and get voted in by you but still FUCK YOU ANYWAY!” GAH! Fuck Utah, fuck mormons and FUCK THEIR SKY DADDY!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:16pm
  11. Sick State….sad..so sad…guess no equal rights due to the sick guy now eating Pizza…. pull your heads out of your a$$….Mormons… Equality for all…God loves all

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:17pm
  12. Everyone one who got married needs to file a case against the state and start voting these fucks out of office

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:19pm
  13. Hopefully the right judgment is delivered and soon. We tie up so much unneeded time and money in legal processes.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:20pm
  14. They just doing what California did

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:20pm
  15. Putting peoples lives on hold. What a fucking douche bag. they need to get their shit together and then they can run their mouth.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:21pm
  16. They have yet to give one actual reason allowing it harms straight couples but by doing this they have just proven how it harms same sex couples... Ugh.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:27pm
  17. He’s afraid the Mormons will get him. Middle of the night…they’re gonna GETCHA!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:21pm
  18. Thats BULLSHIT..FUCK UTAH AND ALL THE RELIGOUS BIIGOTS

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:23pm
  19. Wot until their Church decides. Baaaaaaaa

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:27pm
  20. Important question: Can those people still file their *federal* taxes as married couples and receive all the other federal benefits of marriage? If not, WHAT THE FUCK DOES A LEGAL MARRIAGE MEAN? Why can state governments just “undo” completed legal marriages anytime they want?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:29pm
  21. I wrote an email to Mr. Herbert:

    Dear Governor Herbert,

    I am emailing you regarding your latest comments over the same-sex marriage issue in Utah. While I may not be a citizen of your state, I am a citizen of the United States and I feel it is my duty to alert every governor of his or her wrong doings. I feel your decision to say that all the 1,360 same-sex marriages legalized by the state of Utah are invalid is wrong. Firstly, you do not have the authority to make that decision. As far as I am aware, the courts have only halted the process of obtaining a marriage license, not thrown it out all together. You are playing an early victory which I feel you will not win. I understand you feel same-sex couples are wrong however you need to remember you work FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE. Your personal beliefs should and need to stay as such: your own. It is very ignorant and selfish of you to create laws and sign laws and proclaim things based around your religious or personal beliefs. You are in charge of the entire state of Utah, religious persons and non-religious persons. I strongly suggest you rethink your personal beliefs and opinions before you have another say in the same-sex marriage issue. My advice Mr Governor is if you don’t believe or support same-sex marriages, don’t partake in one. Don’t attend one, don’t have one, don’t even consider going to one. Just because you deem it wrong does not mean you have the right or power simply because you are governor to make it illegal. Do you not listen to ALL of your citizens? Do you not notice that a high majority are FOR the legalization of same-sex marriages? Did you learn nothing from the Supreme Courts removal of DOMA and DADT? Equality is happening Mr. Governor, whether you like it or not. Remember the Women’s Right Movement 1848-today? Women gained the right to vote thanks to the 19th amendment on August 26th, 1920. African American Civil Rights Movement, 1955-68? Amendment XV did give black people the right to vote in 1870, and some used it right away, electing state and federal senators and representatives. Jim Crow quickly snatched away that right for all practical purposes, however, as poll taxes and literacy tests–and Klansmen–denied blacks that fundamental right. President Johnson’s Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the true turning point in the USA’s history of beginning to embrace blacks as full citizens with equal rights. Did you notice a pattern Mr. Governor? All of these movements were started due to discrimination set forth by people like yourself. If more elected officials would embrace equality and actually work FOR THE PEOPLE and not for a reelection guarantee or poll numbers, maybe the United States would be a better place to reside. While I don’t know you personally I can say based on your reactions over the same-sex marriage issue you have quite a nasty outlook about people who are different.

    Best Regards,

    Terry Mark Fitch Jr
    Elkmont, Alabama

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:37pm
  22. We have something you don’t have and we don’t want to share

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:38pm
  23. the right to marry should never be voted upon nor put on hold,it is a human right not a political one. fuck ur status and ur bigotry

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:45pm
  24. Gary Herbert you suck! I agree with you Antonio, every couple that was married Legally should file a lawsuit!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:46pm
  25. Bigots trying to swim against the tide — they’ll lose.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:47pm
  26. :P

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:47pm
  27. My cup of gay hate hath runneth over…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:51pm
  28. 29th of march this year and england is a same sex marriage friendly zone, happy :-)

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:53pm
  29. Gay marriage WILL return to Utah. Better get used to it!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:54pm
  30. Creep.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:59pm
  31. Interesting….right around tax time.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:01pm
  32. Dis like!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:05pm
  33. Outrageous!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:11pm
  34. And his evil and hatred will be compounded into a tantrum during which he stomps himself into the ground when The Supreme Court rules in favor of equality. I strongly suspect that he is acting under the duress of the mormon money he will need to finance future campaigns. Oh the web we weave…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:14pm
  35. Fuck Utah

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:22pm
  36. SUE the Poligamy idiots!!!! It wont stand, because the licenses were given legally! SUE THEM! Each and every couple should file a separate case! But these marraiages will be recognized by the federal govmt… GOOD LUCK UTAH!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:25pm
  37. Polygamy is illegal in Utah, and has been for 120 years. The polygamy joke is old. Just saying.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 11:15pm
  38. It maybe illigal but Utah has done NOTHING to stop the compounds in their state, they turn a blind eye because they truly do not care about it and do support plural marriage and the sexual abuse of their young girls. And lets not forget the way they throw away the young men in these componds. The ONLY reason they gave up plural marriage was becuase they would not have been allowed to become a state if they didnt. It wasnt meant as a joke! They are a bunch of hypocrits!

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 11:40pm
  39. Maybe they would be ok with it, if it was multiple marriages. Isn’t that the Utah thing?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 8:37pm
  40. GLBT Utah state tax payments on hold as well.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 8:48pm
  41. Hurry up Utah and pull your head out of your you-know-what and make it legal.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 8:51pm
  42. They can delay and maybe win some battles, but the war will be won by the laws of the land… “Equal Protection For ALL By The Laws Of Our Land”. It just means we have to go to court again and again…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 8:57pm
  43. yea. until they can pull their heads out of their butts.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 8:59pm
  44. “dislike”

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9:05pm
  45. VOTE FROM YOUR PHONES!!!!! We don’t NEED officials anymore!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9:08pm
  46. Their case hasn’t been appealed yet so he can’t say those marriages are invalid they only got a stay so judge Shelby’s ruling still stands.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9:11pm
  47. Gay pride ….

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9:59pm
  48. Sucks!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 10:31pm
  49. Attention, Utahns of conscience: Stop recognizing opposite-sex marital status, retroactively. If your company has some kind of family rate or discount, tear up the cards.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 11:13pm
  50. You are fighting a losing battle……even if you should somehow win your point, your state will be tainted with a legacy of bigotry! Is that what you want?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 11:18pm
  51. Tax the Mormon cult!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 11:24pm
  52. Bummer , we didn’t get to see if the crazy would go the distance with his fast!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 11:50pm
  53. STILL!!!! WAKE UP UTAH!!!! IT IS THE YEAR 2014!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 1:55am
  54. Lame

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 2:04am
  55. Has the Hold been decided on yet? He doesn’t have the right to revoke anything. Until the Black Robed guys in DC make a decision, just hold on & maybe call your lawyers. Just to keep them on standby for a class action lawsuit.

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 2:53am
  56. The fucking religious right and their preception of legal authority over all in America. The time has come to put the right-wing back in the churches!!! Enough is enough.

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 3:12am
  57. so, while same-sex marriage was briefly legal, gay couples PAID for a marriage license, and the state is now refusing to recognize those legally obtained licenses? that’s against the constitution and, quite frankly, constitutes as stealing.

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 4:39am