Gay marriage controversy in Utah
A day after a judge's surprise ruling overturned Utah's same-sex marriage ban, at least one county clerk tried to open early Saturday but was unable to issue marriage licenses.
North of Salt Lake City, about 300 hundred people showed up at the Weber County Clerk's Office on Saturday afternoon but were later turned away without licenses.
The confusion Saturday and reports of other crowds scrambling to find an open office illustrated how gay marriage caught many in Utah off guard.
On Friday, more than 100 couples rushed to wed in Salt Lake County shortly after the ruling was released. State officials slammed the decision and moved to stop licenses from being issued.
The state has given notice that it will appeal the ruling and has asked for an emergency stay to stop gay couples from getting marriage licenses.
For now, a state considered as one of the most conservative in the U.S., has joined the likes of California and New York to become the 18th state where same-sex couples can legally wed.
Utah is home to the Mormon church, which was one of the leading forces behind California's short-lived ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, which voters approved in 2008.
At the Utah County clerk's office in Provo, several same-sex couples were turned away on Friday.
Arlene Arnold, 60, said she and her partner of 20 years rushed over but were denied a license.
"I was infuriated," Arnold said Friday. "And thought, as I watched the young, heterosexual couples sitting there, I thought, 'How does it feel to have straight privilege?'"
Arnold still said it was "history in the making."
"I didn't think in my lifetime I would ever see same-sex marriage approved in Utah," she said.
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