Federal Court: No Halt to Gay Marriages in Utah

Wedding rings and stars in silver
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the state's request to stop gay marriages in Utah.

The state had wanted a hold on same-sex marriages while they appeal a judge's ruling overturning the state's ban on gay weddings.

The appeals court ruling late Tuesday means county clerks can continue to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians. Nearly 700 gay couples have obtained marriage licenses since Friday.

The judge's decision to strike down a law passed by voters in 2004 drew attention given Utah's long-standing opposition to gay marriage and its position as headquarters for the Mormon church.