US: Federal appeals court to hear arguments over same-sex marriage ban in Utah

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A federal appeals court will on Thursday hear arguments in a case challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Between 20 December and 6 January, some 1,300 same-sex couples married in the state as a US District Judge ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage violated the state’s constitution.

The US Supreme Court since put a stay on equal marriage in the US state, forbidding same-sex couples from being issued with marriage licences in the state during an appeal against a ruling to allow them.

Now the appeals court will hear arguments in the case, the first time an appeals court has heard such a case since the US Supreme Court struck down DOMA and Propositon 8 last year.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert seeks to uphold the ban, which was struck down in December.

Next week the same court will also consider a case surrounding the strike-down of Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex couples.

The cases are being hailed as significant, as the US Supreme Court may decide to review one of them.