In an attempt to disallow same-sex marriage in the western state, Utah has now appealed to the US Supreme Court to suspend the judge rule allowing same-sex marriage. Its attorney general's office filed an emergency request to stay a decision by judge Robert J. Shelby of Utah's Federal District Court, who said the state's law conflicts with the US constitution. "Applicants respectfully apply for an immediate stay pending an appeal of a judgment and injunction ... invalidating .. Utah's marriage laws," said the 101-page legal document, posted on the attorney general's website. On December 20 judge Shelby struck down Utah's gay marriage ban -- approved by voters in a referendum in 2004 -- saying it violated the right of same-sex couples to equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the constitution. Opponents of gay marriage appealed, but their initial attempt to have the ruling suspended was rejected. Tuesday's New Year's Eve appeal was made initially to US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees such emergency applications to the United States' top court in Washington DC. Marriage laws are governed by individual US states, nearly 30 of which have amended their constitutions to ban same-sex marriage. Efforts to give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexuals have gathered steam in recent years. One of the most important victories came in June when the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Seventeen US states and the federal capital Washington DC have so far legalized same-sex marriage, including New Mexico earlier in December. The other states are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.Source: AFP << Francois Hollande Vows 'intransigence' on Racism Festive Lottery Staged by Catalonia >> Recommended Reading Over a Hundred Couples Wed in Rio De Janeiro’s First Gay Marriages Rio de Janeiro's first gay civil marriages saw over 130 couples tying the knot in a mass wedding at the Superior Court of Justice. READ MORE New Mexico: the 17th State to Back Gay Marriage Mexico is now the 17th state to back out on gay marriages, with the Supreme Court backing out on same-sex marriage rights on Thursday READ MORE Federal Judge Strikes Down Utah Gay Marriage Ban in US A federal judge struck down Utah's ban on gay marriage, saying that the western state's law -approved by voters in a referendum in 2004- violates the US constitution. READ MORE Divorce: Pros and Cons Divorce can be traumatic for children and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. Couples should realize that joined parenting is important even after divorce. READ MORE How to Save your marriage You can save your marriage - even when your partner insists on a divorce. READ MORE Is Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married? The stigma linked to staying single is gradually disappearing. More people opt to stay single and many even claim to be happier. But there are both advantages and disadvantages to staying single. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia A-Z Drug Brands in India Drug - Food Interactions Find a Hospital More News on: How to Save your marriageDivorce: Pros and ConsIs Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married?