Utah’s governor has taken the decision to temporarily halt same-sex marriages in the state a step further, saying that those couples who are already married will be denied the legal benefits of marriage by state agencies until further notice.
In December, Utah became the 18th state to allow same-sex marriages to be legally recognized, and at that time, the ruling judge declined to stay his decision while the state appealed it. On Monday, however, another judge overturned that part of the ruling, saying that it would be too hard to undo all the marriages if the ban was reinstated. He ruled that no more same-sex marriages could be licensed until the final decision in the matter.
Today, the governor of the state took the ruling a step further, directing state agencies not to recognize same-sex marriages that were legal just a few days ago.
Human Rights Council Chad Griffin released a statement today saying:
Today’s decision harms hundreds of Utah families and denies them the respect and basic protections that they deserve as legally married couples. Governor Herbert has once again planted himself firmly on the side of discrimination by preserving the second-class status he believes gay and lesbian Utahans merit. These families deserve better and I have no doubt the courts will soon grant them the justice and equality that our Constitution demands.