The Utah state Supreme Court late Friday night issued an emergency stay, halting the adoption of children by legally-married same-sex couples. The ruling comes in response to the state attorney general’s request, and could have placed him in jail had the Court ruled in a different manner.
At issue, requiring the Department of Health to include the names of both adoptive parents on birth certificates.
In December, a federal judge found Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. 1300 couples married before Utah’s attorney general, Sean Reyes (image), could convince the U.S. Supreme Court to stay that ruling. Republican Governor Gary Herbert subsequently decided that even though those marriages are legal, the state would not recognize them. The federal government, under the direction of Eric Holder, is recognizing all 1300 marriages.
“Supporters of same-sex marriage have accused the state of ‘tearing families apart’ for political reasons, but Assistant Attorney General Joni Jones, who oversees the litigation division of the office, said the state is seeking clarity, not discord,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Now, in what some might say is a vengeful act, not only are 1300 same-sex marriages in limbo, so is the status of their children — as a direct result not of the federal judge’s December ruling or of the U.S. Supreme Court’s, but of the governor’s decision to not recognize the legal marriages.
Last month, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments related to December’s ruling striking down the marriage ban. A decision is expected soon, and court watchers believe the original ruling, striking down the ban, will be upheld.
The stay on adoptions presumably will be in effect until the federal court rules on the marriages.
This is a breaking news story — stay tuned for further developments.
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