From left, plaintiffs Moudi Sbeity, Derek Kitchen, Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge, two of the three couples who brought the lawsuit against Utah’s gay marriage ban, stand together at a news conference outside their lawyer’s office in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Earlier in the day, a federal appeals court ruled that states must allow gay couples to marry, finding the Constitution protects same-sex relationships. The decision from a three-judge panel in Denver upheld a lower court ruling that struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
DENVER (AP) — A federal appeals court ruled for the first time Wednesday that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, extending the movement’s legal winning streak and bringing the issue a big step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The three-judge panel in Denver ruled 2-1 that states cannot deprive people of the fundamental right to marry simply because they choose a partner of the same sex.
The court dismissed as “wholly illogical” the notion that allowing gays to wed could somehow undermine traditional marriage.
The decision by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld a lower-court ruling that struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban. It becomes law in the six states covered by the 10th Circuit: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. But the panel immediately put the ruling on hold Login to read more