Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has lost another bid to force Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

On Thursday, a Colorado appeals court denied Suthers' plea for a stay in a lower court's order allowing Hall to continue issuing the licenses.

The three-judge appeals court panel said Suthers had not “established the factors required to grant the requested relief.”

Hall began issuing the licenses after the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a lower court's ruling striking down Utah's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions.

The federal appeals court's jurisdiction includes Colorado and Hall cited the ruling in explaining her actions. Two county clerks followed Hall's lead but Suthers shut them down.

Suthers turned to the appeals court after District Court Judge Andrew Harman twice refused to order Hall to stop.

In recent weeks, state and federal judges have struck down Colorado's ban as unconstitutional.

(Related: Colorado AG John Suthers appeals gay marriage ruling.)