Federal judge in Colorado strikes down marriage ban in 27th pro-marriage ruling
July 23, 2014
Today, July 23, U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore struck down Colorado’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, marking the 27th consecutive ruling in favor of the freedom to marry (with no rulings against) since June 2013. The ruling has been stayed until August 25, 2014.
The ruling, in Burns v. Hickenlooper (filed earlier this month by same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in CO or respect for marriages legally performed in other states), follows a flurry of legal activity in Colorado. On July 9, a judge in state court issued a ruling in Brinkman v. Long that Colorado's marriage ban was unconstitutional. Shortly after, county clerks in Denver County and Pueblo County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, joining the Boulder County clerk, who had begun issuing marriage licenses when the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit (which has jurisdiction over Colorado) affirmed that same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry.
Over the past few weeks, the state of Colorado has tried to stop clerks in Denver, Boulder, and Pueblo County from issuing marriage licenses as the appeal in Brinkman proceeds to the Colorado Supreme Court. Last week, the CO Supreme Court ordered Denver clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses (but did not issue any orders about Boulder and Pueblo County). And just earlier today, a judge refused to order the Boulder clerk to stop issuing marriage licenses.
Today's ruling in Burns affirms what 26 other rulings have already made clear: It's time for the freedom to marry across the country.
Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson explained more:
Judge Moore did the right thing today, both by the Constitution and by Colorado values. This is the second court decision in favor of the freedom to marry just in Colorado - and across the country, judge after judge, court after court, in state after state have all examined the evidence and sifted through the arguments and concluded that the denial of marriage to same-sex couples cannot stand. It's time for the state attorney general to stop spending taxpayer money to defend the indefensible and allow gay couples to wed now.
This year, Freedom to Marry has been proud to work as a leading and founding member of Why Marriage Matters Colorado, the coalition working to amplify the voices of Coloradans from across the state who support marriage for all. Learn more about Why Marriage Matters Colorado here.
For information on all 75+ marriage cases currently working their way through state and federal court in 32 different states and territories, visit our Marriage Litigation resource.