Gay Weddings OK'd in Utah: Judge Won't Halt Nuptials

Gay couples got a reprieve in Utah on Sunday, when a federal judge declined to stop officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples two days after he overturned the state's gay marriage ban. After Judge Robert Shelby struck down the ban, clearing the way for the weddings to start immediately, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert had asked for an emergency stay. But both a federal appeals court and then Shelby refused Monday to issue one. Shelby found Friday that Utah's state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage violated gay couples' rights to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. That ruling made Utah the 18th state to recognize same-sex marriage and marked a major victory for gay rights activists in a conservative state where the Mormon Church wields considerable influence.

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