Boulder County begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses; AG says no

The first same-sex marriage license issued by Boulder County today. (Alex Burness, Daily Camera)

The first same-sex marriage license issued by Boulder County today. (Alex Burness, Daily Camera)

 

Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall announced Wednesday afternoon that her office will immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples now that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court has struck down Utah’s ban on gay marriage.

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.

FILE - In this April 10, 2014 file photo, the plaintiffs challenging Utah's gay marriage ban, from left, Derek Kitchen and his partner, Moudi Sbeity; Kate Call, her partner, Karen Archer; Laurie Wood and her partner, Kody Partridge, stand together after leaving court following a hearing at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. A federal appeals court for the first time says a state cannot prevent gay people from getting married. A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 found that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

FILE – In this April 10, 2014 file photo, the plaintiffs challenging Utah’s gay marriage ban, from left, Derek Kitchen and his partner, Moudi Sbeity; Kate Call, her partner, Karen Archer; Laurie Wood and her partner, Kody Partridge, stand together after leaving court following a hearing at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. A federal appeals court for the first time says a state cannot prevent gay people from getting married. A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 found that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

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 same-sex 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.”

She noted that in 1975, the Boulder County Clerk issued marriage licenses to a few gay couples.

“They are no more valid today than they were in 1975,” Tyler said.

The appeals court covers the territory of Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, Wyoming, New Mexico and Kansas.

Hall said she is moving forward with the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses because the 10th Circuit has upheld “the fundamental right to marriage.”

“Couples across Colorado have been waiting a long time to have their right to marry the person they love recognized,” she stated in the release. “I want to act immediately to let them carry out that wish.”

 

Source: Denver Post, “Boulder County begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses; AG says no,” By John Aguilar, Posted:   06/25/2014 04:12:51 PM MD| Updated:   25 min. ago

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