First gay marriage appeal awaits US Supreme Court

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has its first gay marriage case awaiting it when justices return in October.

Utah officials on Tuesday filed an appeal with the high court asking it to uphold the state’s gay marriage ban.

If the Supreme Court decides to take the case, it will be the first time the top court considers gay marriage since justices last year struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Supreme Court is under no obligation to the take the case, and legal scholars say it could wait for rulings from one or more of the five other appellate courts with gay marriage cases pending.

Utah officials announced last month they would take the state’s case directly to the nation’s top court rather than asking for another appellate review.

A federal appeals court in Denver ruled in June that states cannot deny same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry. The ruling upheld a December decision by a federal judge overturning Utah’s ban.

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