More Pressure for Gay Marriages in Colorado
DENVER | Pressure is growing for gay marriage to be legalized in Colorado after a judge ruled the state's eight-year-old ban on it was unconstitutional and a county clerk argued in court that she should be allowed to already issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
District Judge C. Scott Crabtree on Wednesday became the 16th judge to strike down a state's gay marriage ban in the past year, but he put his ruling on hold pending an appeal. He wrote that the provisions in Colorado law clearly violate the state and U.S. constitutions. "There is no rational relationship between any legitimate governmental purpose and the marriage bans," he wrote.
The ruling will be appealed by Attorney General John Suthers' office, which defended the ban.
Same-Sex Marriage License Injuction"Every time we find the constitution protects individuals, it is a victory for everybody," said John McHugh, who argued the case for the plaintiffs and said they will try to ensure appeals go directly to the Colorado Supreme Court. "We will do everything we can do to fast-track this and get marriage licenses issued in every county in Colorado."
Kris McDaniel-Miccio, one of the 18 plaintiffs in the case and a law professor at Denver University, said she had anticipated a favorable ruling but was still ecstatic. "It's validation," she said. "I have wanted this validation my whole life."
The ruling would overturn a 2006 ballot measure outlawing same sex marriages. Attorney Nicolle Martin, who represents groups opposed to gay marriage in Colorado, said that was inappropriate. "Decisions like this from Judge Crabtree undermine the will of the people of Colorado who announced by a 55% margin that marriage is the union of one man and one woman," she said. "It is troubling that one state court judge can erase the judgment expressed by the citizens of Colorado."
Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, Suthers' office asked a Boulder judge to ban that county clerk from issuing same-sex marriage licenses in defiance of a stay on a separate ruling two weeks ago by the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that Utah cannot outlaw gay marriage. Also on Wednesday, Utah's attorney general announced he'd appeal that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.