US: Colorado clerk flouts marriage ban to wed 34 same-sex couples

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A rogue county clerk in Boulder County, Colorado has married 34 same-sex couples – including a state senator – despite the state maintaining a ban on same-sex marriage.

Hillary Hall, the clerk in Boulder County, opted to start performing same-sex marriages after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals – whose juristiction includes Colorado – upheld a ruling striking down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban.

Despite the ruling, Colorado’s Amendment 43 – which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman – is still technically in effect, leaving Hall’s authority in question.

The clerk says she will continue to issue licenses to same-sex couples until a court tells her otherwise.

She said: “”Couples across Colorado have been waiting a long time to have their right to marry the person they love recognized.

“I want to act immediately to let them carry out that wish. 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 [issue] licenses.”

Colorado’s Attorney General, John Suthers, said: “Until the Supreme Court decides, we do not have same-sex marriage in Colorado.

“We’re looking at a variety of options, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.”

State senator Jessie Ulibarri, a Democrat who represents Commerce City, was among those to marry, wedding his long-term partner in spite of the law.