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Utah asks Supreme Court to block same-sex marriage

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UTAH – Utah officials have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to immediately block enforcement of a federal judge’s ruling allowing same-sex couples to be legally married in the state.

An emergency appeal was filed on Tuesday with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who could rule herself or ask the rest of the court to weigh in.

Any action from the high court would be limited and temporary and would not be the final word on the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage on December 20, saying the law conflicted with equal protection and due process guarantees under the U.S. Constitution.

Utah voters approved a law banning same-sex marriage in 2004.

Sotomayor has given proponents of same-sex marriage until Friday at noon eastern time to respond to the filing.