Supreme Court asked to permit same-sex marriage in Utah

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(CNN) — Lawyers for a group of gay and lesbian couples in Utah have asked the Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriages to continue in the state, following a federal judge’s ruling that found a law there banning the practice unconstitutional.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an emergency injunction on Tuesday, but was expected to issue an order as early as Friday afternoon on whether to grant the state’s request for an injunction to temporarily halt same-sex unions.

U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby struck down the statute as unconstitutional on December 20, and the state then asked the high court to block enforcement of that decision.

Shelby said the law “conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process under the law.”

The issue on enforcement is tricky since hundreds of marriage licenses have already been issued by some Utah counties in the nearly two weeks since the decision was announced.

Voters there approved a law banning same-sex marriage in 2004.