A federal judge has ruled that gay marriage in Utah may continue, making Utah the 18th state in addition to the District of Columbia where gay and lesbian couples can marry.
Judge Richard Shelby on Monday denied a request by the state that sought to halt gay marriage until the appeals process plays out. The same judge overturned Utah's ban on same-sex marriage Friday, ruling it is unconstitutional.
Utah lawyers are expected to ask a higher court to put the process on hold.
"We're thrilled that this decision continues the process of decisions across the country that support the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married and have their love and families protected equally under the law," said Brian Silva, executive director of Marriage Equality. The New York City-based group promotes the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry.
The state of Utah is now expected to appeal the decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.