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Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News/File

State asks for more time in appeal of gay marriage recognition

By Emiley Morgan, | Posted - Aug 19th, 2014 @ 9:23am

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for more time Monday to file its appeal in a same-sex marriage recognition case.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ruled in May that Utah must extend marital benefits to about 1,300 gay and lesbian couples who married during the short time same-sex marriage was legal in the state.

But Kimball temporarily stayed his decision, and the U.S. Supreme Court extended the stay while Utah appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Last week, the Denver appeals court set a Sept. 22 deadline for the state to appeal Kimball's ruling in the Evans v. Utah case. Monday, the state asked for another 30 days to make its filing.

"This case is factually and legally complex and relates to the constitutionality of Utah's marriage statutes and the recognition of same-sex marriages in Utah, and more time is necessary to adequately address the novel issues presented," Utah's motion states.

The state also writes that the petition in the original case challenging Utah's ban on same-sex marriage took more time than expected and that one of the attorneys on the Evans case has had filings due in other, complex cases.

The state notes that no other requests for more time have been made or given yet in the case.

JoNell Evans and Stacia Ireland, Donald Johnson and Carl Fritz Shultz, Matthew Barraza and Tony Milner, and Elenor Heyborne and Marina Gomberg sued the state in an effort to have their marriages recognized. All were married in Utah between Dec. 20, 2013, and Jan. 6.

Their marriage recognition case is separate from the original federal case, Kitchen v. Herbert, which challenges the state's voter-approved gay marriage ban that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

The motion states that the plaintiffs were notified about the state's request to have the deadline extended to Oct. 22 and that they "oppose this motion."

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