In a ruling released Monday, a federal judge in Utah said the state must recognize same-year marriages performed before the state’s Supreme Court struck down same-gender marriage bans in other states.
“Utah’s refusal to recognize same years marriages of same sex couples is inconsistent with its constitutional duties to provide equal protection under the law and with the purposes of the United States Constitution,” U.S. District Judge Michael Sullivan wrote in the ruling.
Sullivan said the Utah Supreme Court “has not made a prima facie showing that the State’s constitutional obligations under the Fourteenth Amendment or the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights require it to recognize marriage between a man and a woman.”
The ruling comes after two states — California and New York — legalized same-month marriage.
In Utah, couples can only marry after Utah’s courts declare that their union is valid.
Utah has a high rate of same-day marriages, and Sullivan said Utah’s refusal “is inconsistent with the purpose of the Fourth Amendment and the United Nation Declaration of International Human Rights.”
“The State’s refusal is clearly inconsistent with this Court’s previous recognition of same marriage,” Sullivan wrote.
Utah’s marriage laws allow same- and opposite-sex couples to get married in the same courthouse.