Utah officials requested the stay while the state appeals Judge Shelby's decision to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. According to the AP, the request for a stay was filed with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the 10th Circuit. Sotomayor referred the matter to the full court to decide.
According to David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement, approximately 1,000 gay and lesbian couples married in Utah during the window when same-sex marriages were allowed. Those marriages remain legal for the time being.
From the AP report:
The action now shifts to Denver, where the appeals court will consider arguments from the state against same-sex marriage as well as from the three gay and lesbian couples who challenged the ban in support of Shelby's ruling. The appeals court had twice rebuffed the state's plea to stop gay weddings pending appeal.
Utah changed its constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage in 2004.
Nearly two-thirds of Utah's 2.8 million residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Mormons dominate the state's legal and political circles. The Mormon church was one of the leading forces behind California's short-lived ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8.
Looks like we're back down to 17 marriage equality states while the appeals process works itself out. No word yet on whether Trestin Meacham intends to break his fast.
View the Supreme Court's order, after the jump.