— Steve Staeger (@SteveStaeger) June 26, 2014
UPDATE #2: State Sen. Jessie Ulibarri announces his intention to "get married tomorrow in Boulder."
Today, a court in Denver (the 10th Circuit) ruled that gay and lesbian people have a fundamental right to marry the person that they love. The decision was in reference to a case in Utah, but the Boulder County Clerk, Hillary Hall, is now offering marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who want to show their love and commitment with a marriage certificate.
Colorado's Republican Attorney General (who is essentially the lawyer for our state), has said that these marriages are not legal but he hasn't yet taken action to stop these marriages from being performed. Boulder County is ready to defend their decision to let committed, loving couples get married but they may be forced to stop if the Attorney General tries to block them in court.
With all of that said, Louis and I are planning to get married tomorrow (Thursday) in Boulder. This means that you won't get a gold embossed invite in the mail to join us, we won't have a fancy 10 course meal, or a mariachi band waiting to serenade you through a night of dancing.
Instead, we are taking an opportunity to bond our love with a marriage certificate, here in our home state, hopefully surrounded by the folks who love us. We apologize for the impersonal nature of this message, but we didn't have months of planning to figure this out. Our ability to get married is currently dependent on the legal system, and we don't want this opportunity to pass us by! We will post more details soon about when/where, so please accept this as your invitation to join us tomorrow to celebrate.
UPDATE: Via the Denver Post's John Aguilar, Attorney General John Suthers looks to quash Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall's decision to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses:
Carolyn Tyler, spokeswoman for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, said any marriage licenses issued in Colorado will be invalid. Because the 10th Circuit decision was stayed, Colorado's ban against gay marriage remains in effect, she said.
"It's not binding on Utah let alone on Colorado," Tyler said. "Boulder has a history of activism on this issue."
Big news this afternoon from the Longmont Times-Call's John Fryar–Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall has announced that her office will immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the wake of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling today striking down a same-sex marriage ban equivalent to Colorado's in our neighboring state of Utah:
Hall said in a news release that the action was in response to the 10th Circuit U.S. Appellate Court ruling earlier in the day that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.
Hall said the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Office would begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses, beginning Wednesday afternoon, at its Boulder office at 1750 33rd St., and in its Lafayette and Longmont offices starting Friday, June 27.
Because 10th Circuit decisions are binding in the State of Colorado, the precedent established by the case that was the subject of Wednesday's U.S. appellate court's ruling is applicable to the same-sex marriage ban contained in the Colorado Constitution, Hall's staff said in the news release.
It's a bold move, since the court's ruling today was put on hold as soon as it was issued pending Utah's expected appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. That means neither Clerk Hall's action, nor that of same-sex couples who obtain licenses from Hall's office, is without risk–an injunction could halt Hall in her tracks, and potentially even invalidate marriages that take place in the meantime. That's a question for the courts, and ultimately it will be up to them to decide if these licenses will be allowed to stand.
On the other hand, this isn't happening in a vacuum–same-sex marriage bans are being thrown out across the nation, and public opinion is increasingly lopsided in favor marriage equality–61% in Colorado in a recent poll. That being the case, we imagine there will be plenty of Boulder couples willing to risk a temporary setback to be on the leading edge–of a movement for equality that is increasingly unstoppable.