Pueblo County stops issuing same-sex marriage licenses

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PUEBLO, Colo. — The Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder “reluctantly” decided to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday.

Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz said in a tweet, “I believe that AG Suthers is on the wrong side of history and my office is reluctantly ceasing to issue licenses as of this afternoon.”

Ortiz was referring to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, a Republican, who has led a campaign against clerks who have been issuing the licenses.

The Colorado Supreme Court last week ordered Denver County to stop issuing the licenses, but did not tell other counties to stop.

Denver, Pueblo and Boulder counties started issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals found a ban on same-sex marriage in Utah unconstitutional.

The 10th Circuit’s decision was stayed and Suthers has argued counties should wait until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the ban.

Suthers released a statement on Monday praising Ortiz’s decision.

“We are gratified that Clerk Ortiz has recognized that he needs to be on the right side of the law,” Suthers said. “No matter one’s views on the issue of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court of Colorado has made clear that until it has had a chance to rule on the merits, clerks must enforce the state’s laws, which are still in effect.”