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Tenth Circuit lifts stay: Same-sex marriage now legal in Utah, Oklahoma

Plaintiffs challenging Utah's gay marriage ban, from left, Derek Kitchen, his partner Moudi Sbeity, Kate Call, her partner Karen Archer, Laurie Wood and her partner Kody Partridge stand together after leaving court following a hearing at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Thursday, April 10, 2014. Brennan Linsley, AP

Plaintiffs challenging Utah's gay marriage ban, from left, Derek Kitchen, his partner Moudi Sbeity, Kate Call, her partner Karen Archer, Laurie Wood and her partner Kody Partridge stand together after leaving court following a hearing at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Thursday, April 10, 2014.  Brennan Linsley, AP

Plaintiffs challenging Utah‘s gay marriage ban, from left, Derek Kitchen, his partner Moudi Sbeity, Kate Call, her partner Karen Archer, Laurie Wood and her partner Kody Partridge stand together after leaving court following a hearing at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Thursday, April 10, 2014.

DENVER — A federal appeals court has lifted its stay in gay marriage cases in Oklahoma and Utah, clearing the way for same-sex nuptials to begin in both states.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver lifted the stays Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the matter. The high court’s decision effectively means gay marriage is legal in 30 states.

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In the Oklahoma case, a gay couple sued a county clerk for failing to issue them a marriage license shortly after voters in Oklahoma approved a ban on same-sex marriage in 2004.

In Utah, three same-sex couples sued to challenge the state’s 2004 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. A federal judge overturned the ban last December.

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