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Supreme Court complicates gay marriages in Utah


SALT LAKE CITY -- Michael Mathie proposed to his partner Tyler McCraley on Christmas. The next day, they joined the historic rush of same-sex couples getting marriage licenses in Utah.

But unlike many couples who solemnized their vows in impromptu ceremonies in the lobby of county clerks offices, Mathie and McCraley decided to wait to hold a ceremony so Mathie's two children could be involved. They were planning the ceremony this weekend.

But, they waited too long.

They are among dozens, maybe hundreds, of couples who missed out on their chance to be legally married in Utah.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided on Monday to bring a temporary halt to the marriages until the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers the long-term question of whether gay couples have a right to wed in Utah.

That means couples who did not solemnize the marriage before the ruling won't be considered legally married, Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said. A marriage license itself means nothing unless there is a ceremony with an officiator and two witnesses, she said.

"We were totally devastated," McCraley said. "The biggest push for us to get married is to show the kids we were in this for the long haul. We definitely wanted them to be a part of it."

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