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Reuters, Published December 20 2013

Federal judge rules Utah's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional

A U.S. federal judge struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage on Friday in a ruling that found the prohibition violated the U.S. Constitution, potentially clearing the way for the state to become the 18th in the nation to allow gay marriage.

"The court hereby enjoins the state from enforcing" the ban "to the extent these laws prohibit a person from marrying another person of the same sex," U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby said in a ruling in a lawsuit brought by three gay and lesbian couples seeking the right to marry.