By Jared Bray, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
July 21, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY – Same-sex couples who tied the knot in Utah during the 17-day window last December and January will have to keep waiting before they can receive spousal benefits.
On Friday, the US Supreme Court granted Utah’s request to temporarily postpone a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that said the state must recognize the marriages.
The order has drawn mixed reactions from the local Filipino community. Some say the decision on marriage should rest within individual states and believe that God has instituted marriage for the union of a man and a woman.
“Family is the central unit of our society, and marriage between a man and a woman is ordained by God,” said Andrea Soleto, a Filipino Christian.
On the other hand, others believe that same-sex couples have the right to wed and enjoy the same protections and benefits as opposite-sex couples.
“We cannot deny our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters of that fundamental right,” said Manny Evangelista, another Filipino Christian.
To seek final clarity on the issue, Utah’s Filipino-American Attorney General Sean Reyes will now file a petition to the Supreme Court in hopes that its justices will take on the case.
Once the petition is in, the Supreme Court will have three options:
-Wait until the majority of the country’s appeals courts have weighed in on the issue.
-Take on the case on its own or combine it with cases from other states and jurisdictions.
-Reject the case and allow a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling to stand.
Because the Supreme Court is on a summer break until October, both sides may have to wait a while before the next step is taken.