The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled in a 2-1 decision earlier today that the Constitution protects same-sex marriage and states must recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry.
The ruling comes after a lower court in Utah struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage, but the Utah attorney general’s office said in a statement according to the AP, they would be filing a petition to the Supreme Court for the review of this decision.
“We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry,” reads the court’s decision. “A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.”
The decision by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming, will not go into effect immediately though. As soon as the court ruled, the ruling was put on hold pending an appeal.
A similar decision was made in the state of Indiana today, where a federal judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
District Judge Richard Young made the ruling, stating the ban was unconstitutional, but the Indiana Attorney General’s office said they had plans to appeal the ruling. No action has yet been taken though.
This decision, unlike that of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, will go into effect immediately, allowing same-sex couples to receive marriage licenses today.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council Perkins and opponent to same-sex marriage, said in a statement after the decisions, “While judges can, by judicial fiat, declare same-sex ‘marriage’ legal, they will never be able to make it right.”
Same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 states including the District of Columbia with recent polls showing a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage.