AG’s fight to stop same-sex marriage in Boulder County heads to court

BOULDER, Colo. — The battle over same-sex marriage in Colorado comes to a head Wednesday morning. A district judge will hear the Colorado attorney general’s lawsuit against the Boulder County clerk and recorder, two weeks after she started issuing licenses to gay couples.

Attorney General John Suthers will ask a judge to order Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples and to declare the more than 100 licenses already issued as invalid.

Hall has said she’s ready to defend her actions — and gay marriage. For two weeks, more than 100 same-sex couples have said “I do” in Boulder County. Hall started issuing same-sex marriage licenses after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Utah’s gay marriage ban.

“To be able to see them be recognized like everyone else is amazing,” Hall said. “It brings tears to my eyes.”

But Suthers filed a lawsuit to stop her. He says the licenses are not valid until a higher court hands down a final ruling.

“With stay or no stay, it’s my job as the officer who’s elected to issue marriage licenses that I begin doing so,” Hall said. “How do you stay a fundamental right?”

Gay marriage supporters feel the same way.

“It’s our contention that same-sex marriages are perfectly legal and Hillary Hall is doing exactly what the law says she should do,” attorney David Lane said.

Attorneys for one of the couples who got married in Boulder County has filed a countersuit against the state. They’re asking the judge to stop the state from enforcing its ban on gay marriage and says the attorney general can’t invalidate  their marriages without first telling the families.

“Not only do we think that against family values and destroys the sanctity of marriage, it violates all concepts of due process,” Lane said.

The hearing begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Advocacy group Out Boulder has been spreading the word and paining signs, preparing for a rally before the hearing.

“Lesbian and gay couples, bisexual and transgender couples want equality and the responsibility associated with that equality, that’s all we’re asking for,” said Mardi Moore with Out Boulder.

No matter how the district judge rules, it’s likely the case will head next to the State Supreme Court.