All counties in the state are now issuing licenses to same-sex couples
There’s a gay marriage boom going on in Utah and only the US Supreme Court can stop it anytime soon.
In the week since a federal judge ruled that the state’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional, nearly 1,000 same-sex couples have obtained marriage licenses, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
Among the first was Michael Adam Ferguson and J. Seth Anderson (pictured) who rushed to the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office last Friday (21 December) where a majority of the marriage have been taking place.
Ferguson and Anderson have been followed by a steady stream of couples who chose to seize the opportunity should a legal ruling put a halt to the weddings anytime soon.
‘It’s been really dramatic,’ Weber County Clerk Ricky Hatch told the Tribune.
Hatch said his office, which typically gets about eight requests for marriage licenses per day, had issued 144 licenses between Monday and Thursday.
‘I would guess on Monday we were seeing 90 percent same-sex couples,’ he said.
So far, the state’s attempts to put at least a temporary stop to the ceremonies pending their appeal of US District Judge Robert J. Shelby’s ruling have been unsuccessful. They are currently preparing an appeal to the US Supreme Court.
Until Thursday, the Utah counties of Box Elder, Utah, Piute and San Juan had been holding out on issuing licenses to same-sex couples.
But that changed after Governor Gary Herbert’s ordered state agencies to comply with Shelby’s decision in regards to including same-sex couples in the delivery of various state services.
‘We have no choice," San Juan County Clerk Norman Johnson tells the Associated Press. ‘The scales have tipped. It’s not the way I want to see things go. But the law’s the law, and I accept it. It’s time.’