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Utah Supreme Court grants stay in same-sex adoption cases

Attorney General Sean Reyes wants to know if Utah's Department of Health can issue a birth certificate based on a court order
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

The US state of Utah's Supreme Court has called for a temporary halt of birth certificates for same-sex parental adoption.

According to the Associated Press the stay, issued on 16 May, 'appears to apply to a district judge's order requiring Attorney General Sean Reyes and two top health officials to explain the state's refusal to recognize a same-sex couple's adoption.'

The attorney general, who is against marriage equality, wants to know if the state's health department can issue a certificate based on a court order.

As reported by the activist group Lambda Legal, the western state prohibits an adult from adopting 'who is cohabiting in a relationship that is not a legally valid and binding marriage under the laws of this state.'

This past December, US District Court Judge Robert Shelby ruled the state's ban against gay marriage was unconstitutional. 

One-thousand LGBTI couples married before the  US Supreme Court issued a stay; Reyes requested adoptions also be put on hold.

'The stay prevents further confusion as the district court order required the (health) department to list same-sex parents as the legal parents of an adoptive child,' the attorney general's office said, in a statement, as reported by the Associated Press.

'The department sought clarification because the court orders appear to conflict with Utah law currently in effect, which prohibits the state and any state entities from recognizing same-sex marriages,' the statement continued.

A date for oral arguments has not been set.

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