Colorado Attorney General John Suthers
on Monday ordered clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay
and lesbian couples.
Following the Supreme Court's decision
not to hear appeals in cases challenging restrictive marriage bans in
Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Indiana and Wisconsin, plaintiffs in a
federal lawsuit challenging Colorado's ban asked the Tenth Circuit
Court of Appeals – which ruled against bans in Utah and Oklahoma –
to lift its stay of U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore's July
ruling striking down Colorado's restrictive marriage ban
joined in the request and put out a statement stating that clerks
must begin issuing licenses once the courts have acted.
“We have consistently maintained that
we will abide by the Supreme Court's determination on the
constitutionality of marriage laws,” Suthers said. “By choosing
not to take up the matter, the court has left the 10th Circuit ruling
in place. We expect the 10th Circuit will issue a final order
governing Colorado very shortly. Once the formalities are resolved,
clerks across the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to all
Suthers said he would also ask the
Colorado Supreme Court to lift an order his office sought prohibiting
Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall from issuing marriage licenses to
gay couples. Hall began issuing the licenses shortly after the Tenth
Circuit struck down Utah's ban.