Although same-sex couples could have obtained a marriage license from the Morgan County clerk between Dec. 23 and the morning of Jan. 6, none did. And because of a Supreme Court ruling Jan. 6, it is not likely to happen again until a federal appeals court can rule on whether the Utah law banning same-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The Supreme Court’s brief Jan. 6 order put lower-court decisions on hold. Gov. Gary Herbert instructed county clerks to stop marrying same-sex couples immediately after the Supreme Court granted the stay.
Morgan County Attorney advised Morgan County Clerk Stacy Lafitte not to issue same-sex marriage licenses until further notice. Additionally, Farris said same-sex marriages should not be performed in the future even if the couple had a previously issued license.
On Dec. 20, a U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the Constitution and put his ruling into effect immediately.
More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples in Utah took advantage of the window of opportunity and exchanged vows in those few weeks. Those couples are now uncertain if their marriage licenses will be honored by the federal government or be deemed valid in Utah.