Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert is applauding the US Supreme Court's decision on Monday (6 January) to halt gay marriages in his state until a federal appeals court can fully consider the issue.
Herbert, in a statement released by the governor's office, chided US District Judge Robert Shelby for not issuing an immediate stay last month when he ruled that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
This opened the door for more than same-sex 900 couples to get married in Utah in recent weeks.
'Clearly, the stay should have been granted with the original District Court decision in order to have avoided the uncertainty created by this unprecedented change,' Herbert said.
The high court did not issue any comment when issuing the order which will remain in effect until the Court of Appeals decides whether or not to uphold Shelby's ruling.
Herbert feels Shelby over-stepped in his ruling.
'As I have said all along, all Utahns deserve to have this issue resolved through a fair and complete judicial process,' he stated.
'I firmly believe this is a state-rights issue and I will work to defend the position of the people of Utah and our State Constitution.'