Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes yesterday ordered county clerks to finalize the paperwork on same-sex marriage applications submitted before the U.S. Supreme Court issued its stay.
The stay remains in effect while the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers the long-term question of whether gay couples have a right to wed in Utah. In Weber County, about 30 couples married before the ruling, but their marriage certificates were not completed after county attorneys said to put them on hold. Reyes’ new advice was issued to clear up some confusion and only applies to marriages that were solemnized, his spokeswoman Missy Larsen said. “As long as the marital ceremony happened prior to the stay, then the marriage can receive documentation,” Larsen said. The attorney general’s office said Thursday’s guidance is not a decision on whether the marriages are valid. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court will have the final word on that, Larsen said. “We are not able to make that statement,” she said. “All we know is that Utah state law precludes them from being recognized.”
According to Reyes, the paperwork is an administrative function, not a legal one. Got that?