A Colorado judge has struck down the
state's ban on gay marriage.
“The Court holds that the Marriage
Bans violate plaintiffs' due process and equal protection guarantees
under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” Adams
County District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree said
in his 49-page ruling.
Colorado is the only state to recognize
gay and lesbian couples with civil unions. (Wisconsin and Nevada
offer domestic partnerships, which offer limited benefits.)
“The existence of civil unions is
further evidence of discrimination against same-sex couples and does
not ameliorate the discriminatory effect of the Marriage Bans,”
added Crabtree, who was appointed to the bench in 2001 by Republican
Governor Bill Owens.
Crabtree put his ruling on hold to
“avoid the instability and uncertainly which would result.”
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to
Marry, applauded the ruling in a statement.
“Yet another court has concluded
that there is no good reason for denying gay couples the freedom to
marry, and has found marriage discrimination unconstitutional,”
Wolfson said. “It is time that Colorado's gay couples and their
loved ones be able to share in the joy and security that marriage
brings, and time for the Supreme Court to bring the freedom to marry
home nationwide. Every day of denial is a day of wrongful
The lawsuit is separate from a federal
challenge filed last week by six same-sex couples after the Tenth
Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a lower court's ruling
striking down Utah's ban.
to appeal gay marriage ruling to Supreme Court)
The ruling reverberated in Colorado,
which is under the Tenth Circuit's jurisdiction. Buoyed by the
decision, Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall began issuing marriage
licenses to gay couples. On Wednesday, a judge considered a request
from Attorney General John Suthers to force Hall to stop issuing such
licenses. A ruling is expected this week.