A couple denied a marriage license has
filed a lawsuit challenging Colorado's 2006 voter-approved
constitutional amendment excluding gay couples from marriage.
According to ABC
affiliate 7News, Dr. Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd applied
for and were denied a marriage license from the Adams County Clerk's
office. The clerk offered the couple a civil unions license instead.
“They rejected this offer because
civil unions are more akin to a business relationship than to the
expression of dignity, love, respect and commitment that married
heterosexual couples enjoy because they are married,” Ralph Ogden,
the couple's lawyer, told the outlet.
The women allege in their lawsuit that
the state's ban violates the equal protection and due process
guarantees of the 14th Amendment of the United States
In June, the Supreme Court ruled
unconstitutional a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),
which led to the federal government recognizing all legal marriages
regardless of sexual orientation. However, the federal government
does not recognize civil unions.
“[B]ecause Colorado refuses to allow
same gender marriages, these federal benefits are denied to members
of a civil union,” Ogden explained.
Other states which offered civil unions
prior to the Supreme Court's decision – Hawaii, New Jersey, and
Illinois – have moved or are debating moving to full marriage. However,
Colorado is unique among states with civil unions in that its
constitutional amendment blocks lawmakers from considering legalizing
Senate approves gay marriage bill.)