With a pair of state Supreme Court
rulings on Tuesday, Colorado officially became the 25th
state to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.
The rulings stem from a Supreme Court
decision not to hear appeals in cases challenging marriage bans in
Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Colorado and Utah are under the
jurisdiction of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
State and federal judges had struck
down Colorado's ban but their rulings were placed on hold.
After the Supreme Court's decision was
announced, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said he would ask
the courts to allow the rulings to take effect.
“Once the formalities are resolved,
clerks across the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to all
same-sex couples,” Suthers said.
On Tuesday, Colorado's highest court
acted, lifting a stay and dismissing a lawsuit challenging the
state's ban. The court also lifted an injunction against three
county clerks who started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples
shortly after the Tenth Circuit issued its ruling striking down
Colorado previously recognized gay
couples with civil unions. With Tuesday's move in Colorado, no state
remains with civil unions, though Nevada has a domestic partnership
law, which offers limited benefits.