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Utah defends freeze on benefits for gay couples

3:54 PM, Feb 28, 2014   |    comments
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah state officials are defending their decision to put a freeze on granting benefits to newly married gay couples in a new argument filed in federal court.

Court records show state attorneys say they must wait for a federal appeals court to rule on the state's same-sex marriage ban before moving forward.

More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples married after a federal judge in Utah overturned the state's same-sex marriage ban on Dec. 20. Those weddings came to a halt on Jan. 6 when the U.S. Supreme Court granted Utah an emergency stay.

In January, the American Civil Liberties Union sued Utah on behalf of four gay and lesbian couples who claim the state's decision violates their vested rights and has created wrenching uncertainty.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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