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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Another Marriage Victory in Colorado

On July 9, Adams County Judge Scott Crabtree struck down Colorado's same-sex marriage ban. This afternoon, as USA Today reports, the federal district court in Denver has done the same thing:
Judge Raymond P. Moore's ruling Wednesday was in response to a lawsuit filed July 1 by six gay couples who asked the court for an injunction ordering that the state's ban no longer be enforced.

Colorado Republican Attorney General John Suthers and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper had requested a stay so the issue could eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court — though both agreed the state ban should be declared unconstitutional.

The couples filed the lawsuit after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled against Utah's gay marriage ban but put the ruling on hold pending an appeal.
The ruling in this case, Burns v. Hickenlooper, is stayed until August 25, allowing the state time to appeal to the Tenth Circuit or the Supreme Court. Full text of the ruling is here.

It's been a crazy month in Colorado as judges, state officials, and county clerks have been scrambling to stay on top of the rapidly changing legal landscape. Freedom to Marry explains:
On July 9, a judge in state court issued a ruling in Brinkman v. Long that Colorado's marriage ban was unconstitutional. Shortly after, county clerks in Denver County and Pueblo County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, joining the Boulder County clerk, who had begun issuing marriage licenses when the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit (which has jurisdiction over Colorado) affirmed that same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry. Over the past few weeks, the state of Colorado has tried to stop clerks in Denver, Boulder, and Pueblo County from issuing marriage licenses as the appeal in Brinkman proceeds to the Colorado Supreme Court. Last week, the CO Supreme Court ordered Denver clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses (but did not issue any orders about Boulder and Pueblo County).

Update, 7/24: The Colorado Attorney General has filed an appeal of the case with the Tenth Circuit.

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