Colorado leaders ask court to declare state's ban on gay marriages unconstitutional

Ivan Moreno / The Associated Press
July 2, 2014 06:18 PM

Two plaintiffs in a lawsuit to overturn Colordo's gay marriage ban, Cassie Rubald, left, and her partner, Rachel Catt, hold hands during a news conference outside the federal courthouse in downtown Denver on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Six gay couples filed the lawsuit to ask for an injunction to stop all officials from enforcing the ban on gay marriage in Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER - Colorado's Democratic governor and its Republican top lawyer asked a U.S. court Wednesday to issue an injunction declaring their state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

But Gov. John Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers want the court to delay implementation of the ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue.

A federal appeals court last week ruled in a Utah case that same-sex couples have the right to marry. The ruling, which affects a number of states in the region including Colorado, was put on hold pending appeal.

Since then, Boulder County's clerk has been issuing marriage licenses to gay couples over Suthers' objections, and six couples filed a lawsuit in federal district court seeking to overturn the state's ban. Hickenlooper and Suthers' request for an injunction is in regards to that lawsuit.

"It's time for Colorado to get in line with the tide of history and allow same-sex partners to marry," said Mari Newman, the attorney for the couples.

Gay marriage bans have already been struck down in several other states. The fight to legalize gay marriage began in earnest after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Clinton-era federal Defence of Marriage Act last year.

Same-sex marriage now is legal in 19 U.S. states, including several socially conservative ones. Recent polls show a majority of Americans support gay marriage. The issue of whether a state can ban it is expected to eventually reach the Supreme Court.

Suthers' office said he wants to resolve the question of gay marriage and avoid costly litigation.

But while Hickenlooper and Suthers agree there should be an injunction, they disagree on same-sex marriage. Hickenlooper said he believes last week's federal appeals court decision against Utah's gay marriage ban was correct. Suthers does not, according to his court filing.

Gay-rights activists applauded the signal from Suthers and the governor that Colorado's ban on same-sex marriages won't stand. But they argued that the marriage prohibition should be lifted immediately.

___

Associated Press writers Dan Elliott and Kristen Wyatt contributed to this report.

___

Follow Ivan Moreno on Twitter: http://twitter.com/IvanJourno


© Coast Reporter
Coast Reporter

Email to a Friend

Close

QUESTION OF THE WEEK POLL

Are you pleased with the shíshálh’s announcement to protect the lower slopes of Mount Elphinstone?

or  view results

Click here to read story

Popular Coast Reporter

Community Event Calendar


Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.