The stay issued late Friday halts an order that state judges
approved on adoptions and issuance of amended birth certificates
naming both parties as parents after a federal judge struck down
Utah's ban on gay marriage last year.
The federal judge's ruling in December is under appeal and Utah has
said its laws that ban same-sex marriage, bar the recognition of
legal gay marriages and prohibit second-parent adoptions stand while
the case is on appeal.
About 1,300 same-sex couples wed in Utah after the federal judge in
December struck down Utah's voter-approved ban on gay marriage as a
violation of the U.S. Constitution and before the U.S. Supreme Court
halted the unions 17 days later pending an appeal.
It's not known how many of the couples filed second-parent adoption
petitions because adoption proceedings are private.
Utah's Office of Vital Records and Statistics had asked the state
attorney general to provide a legal opinion before it complied with
the court orders.
The attorney general's office told the state supreme court the
petitions should be put on hold until the U.S. Court of Appeals
rules on the marriage ban appeal.
"The attorney general's office is encouraged that it will be able to
present the department's full arguments to the court so that these
issues may be resolved to give people who seek adoption and the
department clarity on the issues," Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes
said late Friday in a statement.
[to top of second column]
It was not immediately clear when the state supreme court would hear
arguments on the issue. A U.S. Court of Appeals panel in Denver
heard oral arguments in April on the decision that overturned Utah's
ban on same-sex marriage.
Gay rights supporters called the stay disappointing and devastating
to same-sex families.
"To say it is better for the children of LGBT families to have one
parent instead of two is preposterous," said state Senator James
Dabakis, who married his partner of more than 20 years in December.
"Adoption is different than marriage. Those children deserve the
same protections as any other Utah family."
(Reporting by Jennifer Dobner; Editing by David Bailey, Bernard Orr)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.