UPDATE #6: Pueblo Clerk Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz confirms, his office will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples tomorrow morning.
Pueblo County acknowledges marriage equality and will begin issuing licenses at 8 am tomorrow.
UPDATE #5: GOP Attorney General John Suthers announces his intention to keep fighting, with an appeal of today's ruling denying an injunction against Boulder County to the Colorado Supreme Court:
“It is the view of the Attorney General’s Office that the uncertainty that has been created by these recent Colorado court rulings as to the propriety of county clerks issuing same-sex marriage licenses prior to final resolution of the issue, cries out for resolution by the state’s highest court. It is paramount that we have statewide uniformity on this issue and avoid the confusion caused by differing county-by-county interpretations of whether same-sex marriage is currently recognized. Therefore, we will act swiftly in an attempt to prevent a legal patchwork quilt from forming.”
UPDATE #4: Correcting our previous report, Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz has not yet made a decision on issuing same-sex marriage licenses. His office is reviewing today's ruling now. We'll update soon.
UPDATE #3: Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver celebrates as her city begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses:
“Debra Johnson has acted quickly and decisively after today’s court ruling, and I fully support her efforts to offer marriage licenses to every Denver couple who wants to make that commitment. Marriage is challenging yet rewarding, and everyone deserves to have their relationship recognized under the law.
“Personally, I’ve dusted off my Universal Life Minister’s card and look forward to helping couples start their married lives together.”
UPDATE #2: Outgoing House Speaker Mark Ferrandino:
“Today’s ruling is another step towards legal same-sex marriage in Colorado,” Speaker Ferrandino said. “It is time for Attorney General Suthers to stop blocking loving LGBTQ couples from being protected equally under the law.”
Judge Hartman’s ruling follows yesterday’s decision by Adams County District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree ruling Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
“This ruling comes just one day after Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional,” Speaker Ferrandino said. “Together these two decisions prove that same-sex marriage is inevitable and continuing to argue against it in court is a waste of taxpayer dollars.”
UPDATE: In response to today's court ruling, Denver Clerk Deb Johnson has announced her office will begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses at noon today. Pueblo Clerk Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz
announces his office will begin issuing same-sex licenses tomorrow morning is reviewing today's ruling as well to determine how to proceed (see update above).
With that, the proverbial wall is really coming down.
Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall.
As the Denver Post's Jordan Steffen reports, a huge, if still qualified win today for Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall in her fight against Colorado Attorney General John Suthers to continue issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples:
A judge on Thursday said he would allow Boulder's clerk to continue issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, rejecting a request from Attorney General John Suthers to issue an injunction.
Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall's office has issued more than 100 licenses to gay couples since the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Utah ban on same-sex marriages.
Boulder District Court Judge Andrew Hartman said in an order issued Thursday that the AG's office did not meet its burden in proving that Hall's decision to issue the licenses creates any kind of harm for the couples or the state.
A key portion of Judge Andrew Hartman's ruling notes that the ultimate validity of same-sex marriages performed by Clerk Hall's office rest on undecided legal questions about her actions. This decision denies the Attorney General's request for a preliminary injunction, ruling that the state did not make the case that Hall's issuing of same-sex marriage licenses amounted to "irreparable harm."
The State is asking this Court for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the actions of an elected government official. As such, the State must meet a high burden at this early stage in the litigation. For the reasons set forth below, the State has not met its burden and the Court DENIES the motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
As a temporary measure to protect all those affected by this case, the Court adopts the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s recommendation and ORDERS that the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder identify all same-sex marriages and convey the information as part of its routine monthly reporting of nuptials 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 in order to reduce any risk of irreparable harm. The Boulder County Clerk and Recorder shall forward the information prospectively and has up to and including July 17, 2014 to supply information on past same-sex marriages. These offices shall keep the information confidential.
In addition, as a temporary measure to protect same-sex couples, the Court further adopts the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s recommendation and ORDERS that Clerk Hall provide reasonable notice to prospective and past recipients of same-sex marriage licenses that the validity of their marriages is dependent upon whether a court would find that Clerk Hall had authority to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Despite that qualifier, no question that this is a major validation for Clerk Hall against Suthers–who appears increasingly isolated in his crusade against the inevitable. Democratic AG candidate Don Quick, who has championed overturning Colorado's Amendment 43 in his campaign, looks highly prescient, while opponent and current chief deputy AG Cynthia Coffman inherits Suthers' baggage on the issue. With same-sex marriage bans falling across the nation, Colorado was falling behind the curve largely thanks to our obstinate right-wing Attorney General–until Hillary Hall decided to make her stand.
Whatever happens next, today Clerk Hall is a true hero to this cause.