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  • Utah defends freezing benefits for gay couples

    Utah state attorneys told a federal judge Wednesday that it is reasonable to freeze benefits for more than 1,000 newly married gay and lesbian couples because their rights are not permanently vested until an appeal court rules on the state's same-sex marriage ban.

  • "My intention, when I am attorney general and sworn in, is to continue to defend the laws that have been passed by the people of Utah," Sean Reyes (left) said in an interview last week with KSTU-TV in Salt Lake City. Mr. Reyes has been named Utah's new attorney general by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (right), but he has not yet been sworn in. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

    Utah prepares to fight federal court rulings on gay marriage, polygamy

    It's more than a little ironic that Utah, which was forced to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman as a condition for statehood, has been thrust into the role of traditional marriage's champion by two pivotal cases involving same-sex couples and polygamy.

  • About 1,500 people gather to celebrate marriage equality after a federal judge declined to stay his ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Utah, at Washington Square just outside of the Salt Lake City and County Building Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/The Deseret News, Tom Smart)

    Utah turns to higher court to halt gay marriage

    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."

  • FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 file photo, Chris Serrano, left, and Clifton Webb embrace after being married, as people wait in line to get licenses outside of the marriage division of the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office in Salt Lake City. A federal judge on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 is set to consider a request from the state of Utah to block gay weddings that have been taking place since Friday when the state's same-sex marriage ban was overturned. (AP Photo/Kim Raff, File)

    Judge allows gay marriage in Utah to continue

    A federal judge said Monday he will allow gay marriage in Utah to continue, denying a request from the state to halt same-sex weddings until the appeals process plays out.

  • FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2013 photo, Utah Attorney General John Swallow speaks during a news conference in Salt Lake City. Swallow announced Thursday that he is stepping down amid multiple investigations of bribery and misconduct that have hounded him ever since he took office at the beginning of the year.  The Utah Republican Party's governing body is set to select three candidates on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 to replace Swallow. Gov. Gary Herbert will choose one of the three to fill the office until a special election can in November 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah officials blocked again on gay marriage ban

    A federal judge denied Monday the Utah attorney general's request for a stay of his ruling allowing same-sex marriages, clearing the path for gay couples to marry in what may be the nation's most socially conservative state.

  • ** FILE ** This Oct. 18, 2012, file photo shows Edith Windsor interviewed at the offices of the New York Civil Liberties Union, in New York. The fight over gay marriage is shifting from the ballot box to the Supreme Court. Three weeks after voters in three states backed it, the justices meet Friday to decide whether they should deal sooner rather than later with the idea that the Constitution gives people the right to marry regardless of a couple's sexual orientation. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

    Even in Utah: Judge strikes down state gay marriage ban

    In one of the most socially conservative states in the country, a federal judge in Utah on Friday struck down a voter-passed ban on same-sex marriage, saying it was unconstitutional.

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