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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Marriage Victory in Colorado

Yesterday, Adams County District Judge Scott Crabtree struck down Colorado's same-sex marriage ban as a violation of constitutional guarantees of Due Process and Equal Protection, as Freedom to Marry reports:
In the ruling, Judge Crabtree explained how civil union - which Colorado has had in effect since 2013 - is a lesser, unequal form of family status that does not compare to marriage. He writes:
The fact that the State has created two classes of legally recognized relationships, marriages and civil unions, is compelling evidence they are not the same. If civil unions were truly the same as marriages, they would be called marriages and not civil unions. If they were the same, there would be no need for both of them. The fact that Colorado denies same gender couples the same right to apply for federal benefits that it grants to opposite gender couples is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
Read the full ruling here.

Notably, Judge Crabtree was appointed by Republican Governor Bill Owens in 2001. He is the fifth Republican-appointed judge to rule in favor of the freedom to marry, following judges in New Jersey, Kentucky, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
This is the 24th consecutive ruling in favor of marriage equality since the U. S. Supreme Court's Windsor ruling last year: a complete list is here.

And in other news, the U. S. Supreme Court declined without comment to hear an appeal brought by a Pennsylvania county clerk seeking to stop same-sex marriages in that state.

Also, the Utah Attorney General announced that he will appeal last month's 10th Circuit ruling striking down Utah's marriage ban directly to the Supreme Court.

Freedom to Marry has a comprehensive nationwide database of all 75+ marriage cases now pending, resolved, or on appeal here.

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