More than 1,300 gay and lesbian couples who were legally wed in Utah during the last two weeks are hanging in a legal limbo today, once again experiencing the familiar feeling of inequality. Gov. Gary Herbert announced yesterday that the state will no longer recognize same-sex marriages performed since a federal judge struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban last month.
Gov. Herbert’s blow comes just days after the Supreme Court halted all same-sex marriages in Utah pending an appeal by the state. For now, the recognition of couples married during Utah’s two whole weeks of marriage equality is “ON HOLD until further notice” according Herbert’s Chief of Staff Derek Miller.
On hold, of course, until the state’s appeal is (hopefully) shattered by the U.S. Court of Appeals. The state (ahem, Gov. Herbert) is arguing that the federal decision to allow same-sex marriage is an “unlawful injunction” that infringes upon Utah’s right to enforce its own laws.
“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,” Miller added in a statement. Couples that have made changes in the state system (say, for instance, a name change on a driver’s license) will not have those changes revoked, but the state will not recognize such changes moving forward.
In other news, Trestin Meacham is having a large lunch this afternoon (assuming his gay marriage fast lasted this long). He tells the Daily Mail that if same-sex marriages ever begin in Utah again, he’ll give up football instead.