Appeals court rejects Suthers, allows Boulder clerk to keep issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples
DENVER — The Colorado Court of Appeals Thursday denied Attorney General John Suthers’ request to stop the Boulder clerk from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled last Friday that Denver’s Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson had to stop issuing licenses to same-sex couples; that ruling also prompted Pueblo County Clerk Bo Ortiz to stop issuing licenses on Monday after Suthers’ office threatened further legal action.
But Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall, who was the first clerk in the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples last month after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a lower court’s decision that Utah’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.
In its order Thursday, the appeals court said Suthers did not establish the necessary factors to reverse a ruling that allowed Hall to issue licenses.
Suthers had appealed to the higher court after Boulder District Judge Andrew Hartman twice rejected his request to force Hall to stop until the U.S. Supreme Court has handed down a definitive ruling that settles the legal question around same-sex marriage once and for all.
“It’s great to see that an appellate court ruled in our favor,” Hall said in a statement. “Hopefully this means that the Attorney General will respect the appellate courts decision rather than filing more motions or appeals.”
More than 300 same-sex couples have received marriage licenses in Colorado since the 10th Circuit’s ruling.