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Utah turns to higher court to halt gay marriage

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 24, 2013 at 7:38 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah state lawyers have again turned to a Denver-based federal appeals court in their bid to put a stop to gay couples getting married, saying the state should not be required to abide by one judge's narrow view of a "new and fundamentally different definition of marriage."

About 700 gay couples have obtained wedding licenses since U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby on Friday declared Utah's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, but lawyers for the state are trying every legal avenue to halt the practice. Shelby on Monday denied their bid to temporarily stop gay marriage while the appeals process plays out, and they quickly went to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Utah is the 18th state where gay couples can wed or will soon be able to marry, and the sight of same-sex marriages occurring just a few miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church has provoked anger among the state's top leaders.

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