CO Supreme Court orders Boulder County to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses

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DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The order came because the Supreme Court has decided to take up the case on or before October of this year.

Boulder County has been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples since the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver found that a Utah gay marriage ban was unconstitutional.  Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall decided the ruling gave her legal clearance to start issuing the licenses.

Colorado’s Attorney General John Suthers has been fighting in court with Hall to stop the county from issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Up until now Hall had been winning the legal battle.  Both a Boulder County judge and a Colorado court of appeals denied Suther’s requests.

Yesterday he took the issue to the state Supreme Court saying there has been “statewide confusion and legal chaos revolving around same-sex marriage in Colorado.”

So far 202 same-sex marriage licenses have been issued in Boulder County.

“I am disappointed by the Colorado Supreme Court’s stay, but I will comply with the order,” Hall said in a statement. “Given the avalanche of recent cases determining that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, I am hopeful the stay will be short-lived and that we will be able to resume issuing licenses soon.”

Same-sex marriage battle

Ever since the 10th Circuit ruling in June, the state has seen a battle in the courts over same-sex marriage involving multiple counties.

Despite the fact that the 10th Circuit placed a stay on its ruling, Hall has claimed it gives her the clearance to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Suthers challenged Hall in Boulder District Court and lost. After the decision was handed down, Denver Clerk and Recorder Deborah Johnson allowed marriage licenses to same-sex couples as did the clerk and recorder in Pueblo County.

On July 18, the Colorado Supreme Court ordered Denver County to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses but did not include Boulder or Pueblo counties in its ruling. On July 21, Pueblo County “reluctantly” decided to stop issuing the licenses.

On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.  The ruling was put on hold giving the state a month to appeal, which Suthers said he would do.


  • ColoradoCommish

    Regardless of whom you choose to “sleep” with… The Boulder County Clerk & Recorder was breaking the law…. She’s not Obama… She has to wait until the law is actually changed.
    By taking actions into her own hands, she was actually confusing the situation, misleading, and misrepresenting the law to these couples. (I suppose we’re getting used to elected leadership deciding what THEY think is best for us)
    The CSC will let us ALL know in a few months.


    Typical Boulder politics, kind a like when the mayor’s son’s locker in the BCC had 8 kilos of coke in it. Nobody went to jail. Kept Wal Mart out til this year when some of it’s hometown legals slipped in a Wal Mart grocery store. MS, Hall broke the law but in true nature of the” INDEPENDENT “COUNTY ( kingdom ) OF BOULDER she will get an award. Oh YEA speed limits for bycleists in the cross walks???????????? Because they should be walking thier 2 wheeled chairiots.

  • Jovan

    She was breaking the law and applying the law according to her own interpretation. Glad that the CoSuCo ordered her to stop breaking the law!

  • annpirie

    Indeed, I am glad to see most of you have your heads screwed on right. She was breaking the law. She was sticking her tongue out at the Attorney General who is elected to uphold those laws. How personally rude. How professional illegal. Those issued those licenses have been used and abused. Vote her out, Boulder.

  • Nick

    Well I would say the whole experiment was successful. After all, some license were issued and now it’s going to the supreme court where the ban will most likely be shot down and the issuing will continue again. It really was the best possible outcome. There was no way the SC wasn’t going to issue a stay pending a hearing.

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