US: Colorado same-sex marriage ban struck down

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Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban has been declared unconstitutional by a judge.

In response to a lawsuit from six gay and lesbian couples, district judge Raymond P. Moore ruled yesterday that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage can no longer be enforced.

Colorado’s Republican Attorney General, John Suthers, did not oppose the ruling, but called for the ruling to be stayed, so that the issue can be decided by the Supreme Court before couples are able to marry.

Suthers filed a notice of appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which last month upheld a ruling striking down Utah’s marriage ban.

Attorney Mari Newman, who represented the couples, said: “I think it’s fair to say that in this topic, those who are opposing marriage equality are ultimately going to be viewed like George Wallace standing on the schoolhouse steps trying to keep people out.”

HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said: “Today’s ruling from Judge Moore provides even further confirmation that Colorado’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional.

“Through civil unions, Colorado has already recognized the need for same-sex couples to have equal access to the benefits and obligations of marriage. Now it’s time for the state to stop its appeal and allow these families the dignity that comes with full marriage equality.”

On the same day, District Judge Andrew Hartman denied Attorney General John Suthers’ request to halt Boulder County clerk Hillary Hall from issuing marriage licenses, which she has been doing since last month in defiance of the ban.