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US: Colorado county clerk agrees to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Tatiana Herrera July 22, 2014

Hillary Hall, the county clerk who issued over three dozen same-sex marriage licenses in Boulder, Colorado, has reluctantly agreed to stop. Hall ceased to issue same-sex marriage licenses only after a ruling last Friday by the state’s highest court ordered a Denver County clerk to stop. The ruling also prompted Colorado’s Pueblo County clerk, Gilbert Ortiz, to stop issuing licenses. Hall began issuing the licenses in June after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals — whose jurisdiction includes Colorado — upheld a ruling that struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban. She was the first clerk in Colorado to issue same-sex marriage licenses despite being asked to stop by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. Suthers said: “Until the Supreme Court decides, we do not have same-sex marriage in Colorado.” Hall had refused to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses despite threats of unspecified legal action by Suthers. Earlier this month, Hall was sued by Suthers, in an effort to get her to stop issuing the licenses, stating that Hall would cause people to suffer “immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage” if she continued. The state judge rejected the Attorney General’s lawsuit. Despite the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling striking down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, Colorado’s Amendment 43 – which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman – is still in effect. Suthers asked the Colorado Supreme Court to stop same-sex marriages in the state until they rule on his appeal of a lower court’s ruling that found Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Suthers said: “No matter one’s views on the issue of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court of Colorado has made clear that until it has had a chance to rule on the merits, clerks must enforce the state’s laws, which are still in effect.” Today a federal judge will begin to hear arguments from couples who seek to overturn the state of Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban.

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