Mormon Governor Gary Herbert Says Utah Will Not Recognize Existing Gay Marriages
Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced on Wednesday that the state would not recognize same-sex marriages performed before the Supreme Court issued a stay on Judge Robert Shelby’s ruling striking down the state’s ban,
Based on counsel from the Attorney General’s Office regarding the Supreme Court decision, state recognition of same-sex marital status is ON HOLD until further notice. Please understand this position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages – that is for the courts to decide. The intent of this communication is to direct state agency compliance with current laws that prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages. Wherever individuals are in the process of availing themselves of state services related to same-sex marital status, that process is on hold and will stay exactly in that position until a final court decision is issued. For example, if a same-sex married couple previously changed their names on new drivers licenses, those licenses should not be revoked. If a same-sex couple seeks to change their names on drivers licenses now, the law does not allow the state agency to recognize the marriage therefore the new drivers licenses cannot be issued.
A lawyer Back2Stonewall has consulted states that Herbert has no legal authority to do this and confirms that this will open up the state of Utah to thousands of litigation cases by same-sex married couples.