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Boulder County adding Longmont, Lafayette to places to get same-sex marriage licenses

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BOULDER, Colo. -- Same-sex couples will be able to line up in Longmont and Lafayette in Boulder County Friday to get same-sex marriage licenses. That's what they did early Thursday morning as Boulder County was issuing marriage licenses for a second day despite the fact Attorney General John Suthers says they are invalid.

The Boulder County Clerk’s Office opened a few minutes early because three couples were waiting to enter to obtain a license. More couples continued to stream into the office, and some broke out and sang "Going to the Chapel."

Some wasted no time using those licenses. They had marriage ceremonies right on the lawn outside of the Boulder County clerk's office.

The office was open until 4:30 p.m. and officials expected a lot of people to come in and obtain a license.

On Wednesday, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the ban on same-sex marriage in Utah was unconstitutional. After the ruling, Boulder County attorneys and clerk Hillary Hall decided to begin issuing licenses because the ruling is binding in Colorado.

However, the justices stayed the decision pending appeal to the full court of appeals or to the U.S. Supreme Court. Because of that stay, Suthers says the ban remains in effect in Colorado.

“Today’s decision by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals was stayed by the Court and has not gone into effect even in Utah, let alone in Colorado,” Suthers said in a statement. “Any marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in Colorado before a final court resolution of the issue are invalid.”

Hall says she and the Boulder County attorneys believe the stay only applies to Utah.

“We feel the law is behind us on it, so whatever happens, we’ll be ready to defend it,” Hall said. “This is the right decision.”

It's not known if Suthers will sue Boulder County on Thursday to stop the county from issuing the licenses. Hall said the licenses will continue to be issued until an order comes for it to be halted.

Licenses will be issued in Boulder until 4:30 p.m. Thursday and on Friday, they will be available at the county clerk offices in Lafayette and Longmont.