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.

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