The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its much-anticipated decision on Utah's same sex marriage ban on Wednesday. In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court found that Utah's ban is unconstitutional.
In his decision for the court, Judge Carlos F. Lucero wrote that "a state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union." The court determined that the law violated the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.
Last December, a federal judge struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriages, opening a brief window for marriage equality until the state was granted a stay on the ruling pending appeal. Since then, it's become one of the most-watched same-sex marriage cases in the country. That's partially because of the dramatic contrast of a conservative state and the ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. But also: the Utah case has long seemed destined for the Supreme Court. Today's decision only adds to that perception. We have a primer on the case here, if you'd like to know more.
On that note: the 10th Circuit's decision is stayed, pending an almost certain appeal to the Supreme Court. In other words, same-sex marriages cannot begin again in Utah at this time.
Here is the full ruling for Utah: