Colorado judge denies AG’s request to block Boulder same-sex marriages

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Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall, right, reacts after a court hearing.

Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall, right, reacts after a court hearing.

BOULDER, Colo. — A Colorado State Court judge denied a request by the state’s Attorney General to block the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder from issuing same-sex marriages Thursday, but said the validity of those marriages is still up in the air.

Judge Andrew Hartman issued his decision on Thursday after an emotional hearing on Wednesday, in which Colorado Attorney General John Suthers sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent Hilliary Hall from continuing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Hartman denied that request.

“The State has not met its burden and the Court denies the motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary junction,” Hartman wrote in his decision, which will effectively allow Hall to keep issuing marriage license to same-sex couples.

Hartman’s ruling will be seen as a victory for Hall, who has issued over 100 marriage licenses to same-sex couples since June 25, the day the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is located in Denver, struck down Utah’s ban on gay marriage.

However, Hartman’s decision was not cut and dry.

The judge went on to state that the validity of the same-sex marriage licenses issued by Hall could be called into question at a later date.

“The validity of (prospective and past recipients of same-sex marriage licenses) is dependent upon whether a court would find that Clerk Hall had authority to allow same-sex marriages,” Hartman wrote.

Hartman also ruled that Hall is required to “identify all same-sex marriages and convey the information as part of Boulder County’s monthly reporting to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Welfare, Center for Health and Environmental Information and Services, as well as to the Boulder County Vital Records Office.”