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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Attorney General Sean Reyes will soon announce the special counsel he's hiring to assist his office's defense of the Utah's same-sex marriage ban.

Reyes spokeswoman Missy Larsen says the office received 12 applications from outside attorneys to help with appeal arguments before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The outside help may also work for the office if the case works its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Larsen says the dozen applications were been whittled down to two or three finalists by Wednesday. The hire will be announced by Thursday morning.

Utah's voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages was overturned by a federal judge in December.

More than 1,000 gay couples married for the 17 days same-sex marriage was legal until the Supreme Court halted the weddings.