Utah lawmakers delay marriage license deadline

Utah lawmakers on Tuesday delayed the state’s marriage license requirement for the first time in a decade.

Utah lawmakers on Monday voted to delay the state marriage license issuance date, which is expected to be in the first quarter of 2018.

Lawmakers originally voted to move the deadline back to March 6, 2018, but the move was pulled after the Utah Department of Health and Human Services released data indicating that Utah’s marriage rate has fallen in the last six months.

While the delay was originally expected to affect only those in same-sex marriages, the Department of Justice filed suit on Monday saying that the state should have the option to issue licenses in the same-gender marriage licenses that were issued prior to the date of the lawsuit.

Gov.

Gary Herbert, a Republican, said in a statement Tuesday that the delay would allow for more accurate data to be collected and allow the department to provide more accurate information to Utah voters and legislators.

Utah has been under pressure from LGBTQ advocates to delay issuing licenses for same- and transgender couples, as well as those who do not identify as LGBTQ.

Utah voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 to allow same-day marriages between two people of the same gender.