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State deadline demands Boulder stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses

By Jordan Steffen
The Denver Post


Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has given the Boulder County Clerk's office until noon on Tuesday to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses or face further action from his office.

If the clerk stops issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couplesbefore that deadline, the AG's office is offering to file a joint request to the Colorado Supreme Court, asking the court to decide if the clerk has legal authority to issue the licenses.

Accepting Suthers' offer will "obviate the need for us to take any further action regarding your issuance of licenses," according to aletter sent to the Boulder office on Friday.


A marriage license was issued to Levi Healy and Josh Hufford at the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's Office, Friday morning, June 26, 2014. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall continued issuing same-sex marriage licenses on Monday. Hall began issuing the licenses on Wednesday afternoon, hours after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Utah's ban on gay marriage.

Despite Suthers' repeated warnings that they are invalid, Hall's office has so far issued at least 70 same-sex marriage licenses.

Hall declined to comment on the proposal Monday afternoon, but she did issue a statement in response to Suthers' claim that the licenses are invalid.

"It seems to me that, if someone — even the Attorney General — wanted to challenge a marriage license issued by an elected county clerk in Colorado they would need to do that in court," Hall said. "Given the 10th Circuit's recent decision and the numerous other cases on this issue, I would be surprised if a judge in Colorado were willing to invalidate a marriage license simply because the parties to the marriage were the same sex."

Suthers told The Denver Post his office has not decided what actions may be taken, but they will discuss possibilities if Hall does not stop issuing licenses before the deadline.

"Meanwhile, same-sex couples wishing to be married elsewhere in the state cannot do so, as the rest of the state's clerks do not believe they have the authority to override state law," Suthers' letter read. "This is so, even though many of them agree with your position on the underlying issue of same-sex marriage."

Currently, no other Colorado counties are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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Background Photo Credit: Kasia Broussalian © 2015