Federal appeals court: Gays have right to marry
DENVER (AP) — A federal appeals court ruled for the first time Wednesday that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, extending the movement’s legal winning streak and bringing the issue a big step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The three-judge panel in Denver ruled 2-1 that states cannot deprive people of the fundamental right to marry simply because they choose a partner of the same sex.
The court dismissed as “wholly illogical” the notion that allowing gays to wed could somehow undermine traditional marriage.
The decision by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld a lower-court ruling that struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban. It becomes law in the six states covered by the 10th Circuit: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. But the panel immediately put the ruling on hold pending an appeal.
The Utah attorney general’s office planned to appeal, but it was assessing whether to go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court or ask the entire 10th Circuit to review the ruling,