Colorado

Colorado

Brinkman v. Adams County Clerk and Recorder

(Consolidated with McDaniel-Miccio v. State of Colorado)

What's Happening:

On July 9, District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree struck down Colorado’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples in these two consolidated state court cases seeking the freedom to marry and respect for marriages legally performed in other states. The ruling has been stayed pending an appeal. If the decision is appealed, the next step is the Colorado Supreme Court. 

Case Background:

Brinkman v. Long was filed on October 31, 2013 by private lawyers in Colorado oon behalf of a same-sex couple seeking the freedom to marry in Colorado. The plaintiffs, Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd, applied for a marriage license at the Adams County Clerk and Recorder's Office and were denied because of laws in Colorado excluding same-sex couples from marriage. 

McDaniel-Miccio was filed on February 19 by nine same-sex couples in Colorado seeking the freedom to marry in their home state or respect for their marriages legally performed in other states. The suit was filed by private lawyers on behalf of nine same-sex couples, all from Denver, CO. Four of the plaintiff couples married outside of Colorado and are now asking that the state respect their marriage licenses. Five other plaintiff couples are unmarried and wish to marry in their home state of Colorado.

Burns v. Hickenlooper

What's Happening:

On July 1, six same-sex couples from across Colorado filed a federal lawsuit challenging Colorado’s ban on the freedom to marry. The plaintiffs, represented by a Denver law firm of Killmer, Lane and Newman, name Attorney General Suthers, Governor Hickenlooper and two county clerks as defendants in the lawsuit. They are seeking marriage in state and respect for marriages legally performed in other states.

Case Background:

The case cites last week’s historic 10th Circuit Court decision that ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in Utah as precedent—though the decision was stayed. Colorado is one of six states—including Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

The complaint quotes the 10th Circuit ruling: "[T]he Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union."

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