Main | Wednesday, June 25, 2014

COLORADO: Boulder County Clerk Issues Same-Sex Marriage Licenses, Says Stayed Utah Ruling Applies In Her State

"I am relying on the 10th Circuit's statement that marriage is a fundamental right. Because the Court stayed its mandate, officials in Utah will not have to implement the decision immediately. Even so, I believe the opinion is clear and it is important to act immediately. Colorado's prohibition on same sex marriage has treated our family, friends and co-workers have been treated as second class citizens for long enough. Unless a Court in Colorado or the U.S. Supreme Court tells me otherwise, I plan to begin issuing licenses." - Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall, who has begun issuing same-sex marriage licenses. At this writing no other Colorado officials are following suit.

More from the Denver Post:
The Colorado Attorney General's office said the licenses won't be valid. The clerk's office said it would issue same-sex marriage licenses until 4:30 p.m. at its Boulder office, 1750 33rd St., and resume issuing licenses at 8 a.m. Thursday. The clerk's offices in Lafayette and Longmont will start issuing same-sex marriage licenses on Friday. No mention was made in the clerk's online news release about the stay the three-judge panel put on its ruling, pending a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the matter. Carolyn Tyler, spokeswoman for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, said any marriage licenses issued in Colorado will be invalid. Because the 10th Circuit decision was stayed, Colorado's ban against gay marriage remains in effect, she said. "It's not binding on Utah let alone on Colorado," Tyler said. "Boulder has a history of activism on this issue."
UPDATE: There's a press release on the Boulder County website.
In response to the historic ruling in the 10th Circuit Court today, Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall will begin issuing same sex marriage licenses immediately, beginning today, June 25, 2014 in our Boulder office at 1750 33rd Street, and in our Lafayette and Longmont offices starting Friday, June 27, 2014.

Because 10th Circuit decisions are binding in the State of Colorado, the precedent established by Kitchen v. Herbert is applicable to the same-sex marriage ban contained in the Colorado Constitution. The Tenth Circuit found that “those who wish to marry a person of the same sex are entitled to exercise the same fundamental right as is recognized for persons who wish to marry a person of the opposite sex.”

Clerk Hall intends to uphold the fundamental right to marriage now recognized by 10th Circuit by issuing marriage licenses to any person who wishes to marry. “Couples across Colorado have been waiting a long time to have their right to marry the person they love recognized,” stated Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall. “I want to act immediately to let them carry out that wish.” Marriage licenses will be issued at the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s office in Boulder today until 4:30 p.m. and will resume tomorrow at 8 a.m.
(Tipped by JMG reader Sean)

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