SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) In the week since a federal judge overturned Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, the number of weddings in the state has skyrocketed, shattering records and accruing thousands of dollars for Utah’s 29 counties.

Jax Collins, left, and Heather Collins are overjoyed as they are married by Rev. Christopher Scuderi of Universal Heart Ministry on Monday (Dec. 23), at the Salt Lake City County offices. Hundreds of same-sex couples descended on county clerk offices around the state of Utah to request marriage licenses. A federal judge in Utah struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage last Friday, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process. Photo by Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune

Jax Collins, left, and Heather Collins are overjoyed as they are married by the Rev. Christopher Scuderi of Universal Heart Ministry on Monday (Dec. 23) at the Salt Lake City County offices. Hundreds of same-sex couples descended on county clerk offices around the state of Utah to request marriage licenses. A federal judge in Utah struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage last Friday, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. Photo by Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune


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As of close of business Thursday (Dec. 26), more than 1,225 marriage licenses had been issued in Utah since last Friday (Dec. 20). Of those, at least 74 percent, or 905 licenses, were issued to gay and lesbian couples.

Marriage licenses in Utah cost between $30 and $50, depending on the county.

With an average marriage license costing $40, counties in Utah made a grand total of more than $49,000 in the three-and-a-half days most county clerk’s offices were open this week.

About three-quarters of that money came from gay and lesbian couples seeking marriage licenses in the immediate aftermath of U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby’s ruling that overturned a statewide ban on same-sex marriages.

Salt Lake County shattered a previously held record of 85 marriages in a given day, by handing out 353 on Monday (Dec. 23) — the first full day of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

On the other hand, Piute, a small county of about 1,500 people in the center of the state, was of several counties with no takers. Had any Piute couples requested a license, they would have been denied anyway.

County Clerk Valeen Brown is on vacation until Monday (Dec. 30), officials said. So, Piute officials suspended all marriage license activity until Brown returns.

Utah County — which made national news this week when Shelly Eyre and her partner Cheryl Haws declared that they would sue its clerk for denying gay and lesbian couples — was doling out certificates Thursday to all.

“Moving forward, we probably won’t keep track of how many same-sex couples versus opposite-sex couples we issue licenses to,” said Bryan Thompson, the county’s clerk and auditor. “I don’t see any reason to differentiate between them.”

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11 Comments

  1. frank –

    your religious views do not matter one whit when compared to the constitutional and civil rights of your fellow americans. if anyone should be ashamed it is the backward churches who still preach against gays using a the same book they justified invasions, forced conversions and slavery with. anti gay bias is the last heresy from the big old book of myth which you are allowed to use against people who you really have no complaint against. soon it and your ilk will be a thing of the past.

    • Its a shame you don’t know what you are talking about. And trust me the true church which follows the Word of God will never go away or be defeated. No one has that kind of power.

      • Yes, Frank, the “true church which follows the Word of God.” You mean the Roman Catholic Church, right? Or do you mean the Church of England? Or how about the Baptist congregations? Maybe the Unitarians? It’s so easy to pick out the One True Church from a lineup.

        Its (sic) a shame _you_ don’t know what you are talking about. Willful cluelessness in the service of bigotry–that’s a prize-winning combination.

    • Duane Lamers

      Call it the book of myth if you like, rickster, but I suggest to you that the Decalog is a compilation of basic tenets found in virtually every society on the planet.

      Perhaps the “gay issue” has become the rallying place for all the disafffected people in the country, the people who insist “I’ll do whatever I want to do.”

      As for conservatives being “a thing of the past,”: consider: Birthrates are lowest among the liberals. It well may be that “the progressives” will themselves die out. Liberals are utopians. I suggest you take a look at what happened to utopian communities that were founded in this country in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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