Colorado Attorney General asks state Supreme Court to halt same-sex marriages in Boulder County

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers

DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers filed a motion to the Colorado State Supreme Court on Monday seeking to have Boulder County stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

“This Court alone is left to restore order to the legal process in Colorado,” the 27-page motion reads in part.

On Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals denied Suthers’ request to stop Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall’s office from issuing same-sex marriage licenses, prompting the filing with the state Supreme Court.

READ: Colorado AG’s Motion to State Supreme Court

There has been “statewide confusion and legal chaos revolving around same-sex marriage in Colorado,” Suthers wrote regarding recent rulings.

After the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a lower court’s decision and ruled Utah’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional in June, yet stayed the decision, Hall began issuing the licenses.

Suthers challenged Hall in Boulder District Court and lost. After the decision was handed down, Denver Clerk and Recorder Deborah Johnson allowed marriage licenses to same-sex couples as did the clerk and recorder in Pueblo County.

On July 18, the Colorado Supreme Court ordered the Denver County to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses but did not include Boulder or Pueblo counties in its ruling. On July 21, Pueblo County “reluctantly” decided to stop issuing the licenses.

On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.The ruling was put on hold giving the state a month to appeal, which Suthers said he would do.

“To be sure, the Attorney General had expected that other Clerks, acting on behalf of the State, would understand that an order directing the Denver Clerk to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses would counsel against other Clerks engaging in identical conduct,” Suthers’ motion reads. “This expectation was partly fulfilled when the Pueblo Clerk agreed to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses. …

“The (Boulder) Clerk alone continues to issue same-sex marriage licenses, contrary to current Colorado law, and in contravention of the uniform nature of Colorado’s marriage laws. Accordingly, the State has had no choice but to pursue an additional court order providing for the uniform application of Colorado’s marriage laws pending final determination of the constitutional claims for same-sex marriage.”