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Appeals Court Won't Halt Gay Marriages In Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- County clerks in Utah can keep issuing marriage licenses to gay couples despite the opposition of the state.

A federal appeals court denied a request from the state to halt same-sex weddings until the appeals process works itself out. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Denver, rejected Utah's request for an emergency stay.

The court said in its short ruling that a decision to put gay marriage on hold was not warranted, but said it put the case on the fast track for a full appeal of the ruling.

A spokesman for the Utah Attorney General's Office calls the ruling disappointing and says that the case will be taken to the next level -- a reference to the Supreme Court.

One constitutional law expert says it's unlikely the state will be successful in gaining a stay because two courts have said no.

More than 700 gay couples have obtained licenses since Friday, when Utah's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down.

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