Jan. 9, 2014 — Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes reached out Thursday afternoon to provide legal counsel to County Attorneys and County Clerks regarding the processing of marriages of couples of the same sex before the stay was issued.
The following letter was distributed from the Attorney General’s Office,
To all County Attorneys and County Clerks in the State of Utah:
The Utah Office of the Attorney General has been asked by certain counties for legal clarification about whether or not to mail or otherwise provide marriage certificates to persons of the same sex whose marriage ceremonies took place between December 20, 2013 and January 6, 2014, prior to the issuance of the stay by the U.S. Supreme Court. We offer the following guidance:
Although the State of Utah cannot currently legally recognize marriages other than those between a man and a woman, marriages between persons of the same sex were recognized in the state of Utah between the dates of December 20, 2013 until the stay on January 6, 2014. Based on our analysis of Utah law, the marriages were recognized at the time the ceremony was completed.
While the validity of the marriages in question must ultimately be decided by the legal appeals process presently working its way through the courts, the act of completing and providing a marriage certificate for all couples whose marriage was performed prior to the morning of January 6, 2014, is administrative and consistent with Utah law. Therefore, it is recommended that county clerks provide marriage certificates to all persons whose marriages were solemnized during this period as an administrative function and not a legal function. This would allow, for instance, same-sex couples who solemnized their marriage prior to the stay to have proper documentation in states that recognize same-sex marriage.
– Attorney General Sean D. Reyes