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Judge strikes down Utah's same-sex marriage ban; Davis County prepared to issue licenses to gay couples
by DAN METCALF, JR. and TOM BUSSELBERG
Dec 21, 2013 | 1514 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODS CROSS - A federal judge struck down Utah's Amendment 3 on Friday, which defines marriage as the legal union between a man and a woman. A county official told the Clipper that the Davis County Clerk's office would issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples upon request.

In a statement to the Clipper, Davis County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings said, "After reading the decision, and conferring with our county attorney, who has now taken the time to talk to other legal officials throughout the state, I have been directed to begin issuing same sex marriage licenses immediately, upon request. This decision is one that complies with the current law."

Utah's Amendment 3 was passed in November of 2004, and also prohibited any other "... domestic union, however denominated" or to be recognized as a marriage or having "...substantially equivalent legal effect."

Judge Robert J. Shelby of the U.S. District Court for Utah struck down the law after suit was brought against Governor Gary Herbert and the State of Utah, making same-sex marriages legal.

Same-sex couples began to flood the Salt Lake County clerk's office to apply for licenses, while some couples performed marriage ceremonies outside.

Rawlings said, "I take my position very seriously as the elected clerk/auditor, and will make certain that we comply with the law, as required."

One official with the Davis County clerk's office said they had received a few inquires about obtaining a license for same sex couples, but that no one applied for a license prior to closing. The official said the office was prepared to process any license at the start of business on Monday, in the absence of any legal prohibition.

The office closed at 5:00 p.m.

By Friday afternoon, the Utah Attorney General's office requested an emergency stay to stop same-sex marriages in the state, but no ruling was issued by the court as of late Friday evening.

The Utah Attorney General's office released the following statement regarding their request for a stay:

"The federal district court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right has never been established in any previous case in the 10th Circuit. The state is requesting an emergency stay pending the filing of an appeal. The Attorney General’s Office will continue reviewing the ruling in detail until an appeal is filed to support the constitutional amendment passed by the citizens of Utah."

Stay connected with davisclipper.com for updates on this story.

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