Utah Governor Gary Herbert said Wednesday that he is disappointed in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision. It upholds a lower court ruling that struck down the state’s law banning same sex marriage.
Herbert says regardless of his personal views on same-sex marriage, he believes states have the right to determine the definition of marriage.
He says he fully expects the state will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Again that’s yet to be determined by the Attorney General, but from my point of view it needs to be appealed because we can’t get finality and final resolution unless the Supreme Court hears the case and makes a decision. Once that happens, we’ll abide by what the court decides,” says Governor Herbert.
Plaintiffs in the case Derek Kitchen and his partner Moudi Sbeity embraced on the streets of downtown Salt Lake City following the announcement of the ruling. Kitchen says it feels wonderful to be among one of the many same-sex couples across the country that are being respected and are offered dignity by the court system.
“I don’t think that the state of Utah can continue to deny same-sex couples their rights for much longer and I’m proud to have the 10th circuit court on our side,” says Kitchen.
In December, a U.S. District Court in Utah first ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. Several days later, the state appealed the 10th Circuit in Denver.
Today’s decision from the Tenth Circuit is on hold pending the state’s appeal to the U-S Supreme Court. Officials in the Utah Attorney General’s office could also request that all of the judges on the Tenth Circuit review the case.