December 24th, 2013
10:14 AM ET

Utah Judge: Ruling Allowing Same-Sex Marriages Still Stands

A federal judge in Utah has denied the state's request to stay his ruling allowing same-sex marriage there.

U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby's ruling Monday comes three days after he struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage.

“It's a victory nine years in the making- since the state's ban in 2004, Utah now joins the nation's capital and 17 other states that have legalized same-sex marriage,” reports CNN’s Miguel Marquez.

The decision last week drew national attention and sent throngs of couples to Utah clerks offices seeking marriage certificates.

Nicole Christensen, 28, and her partner, Natalie Dicou, 32, were among those who tied the knot.

"It's incredible. It's like an early Christmas present," Christensen said. "I've been on Cloud 9 ever since we got married on Friday."

Shelby said lawyers for the state had offered no evidence that opposite-sex marriage would be affected and that their "fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the State's refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens."

“On the heels of this dramatic development in Utah, a federal judge ruled that Ohio must recognize gay marriages on death certificates, though,” Marquez says. “That state joining in the challenge against same-sex marriage bans.”

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