In addition to the marriage equality news out of Indiana, the three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled 2-1 that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. Federal trial court judge Carlos Lucero previously struck down the ban in December 2013.
With their ruling, the appeals courts becomes the first appellate ruling on marriage equality since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act. In their ruling, the judges wrote,
Having heard and carefully considered the argument of the litigants, we conclude that, consistent with the United States Constitution, the State of Utah may not do so. We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union. For the reasons stated in this opinion, we affirm.
The judges put their ruling on hold in the event that it will be appealed, which is anticipated from the state of Utah. The judges have not yet issued a ruling in a similar case in Oklahoma.