Boulder County, Colo., told to stop same-sex marriage licenses

Colorado Supreme Court orders Boulder County to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses

The Colorado Supreme Court took another hand in the gay marriage battle Tuesday, ordering Boulder County to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall was the only clerk in the state who had been issuing such licenses. By the time the high court acted, Boulder County had issued 202 of the marriage licenses.

“I am disappointed by the Colorado Supreme Court’s stay, but I will comply with the order,” Hall said in a statement. “Given the avalanche of recent cases determining that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, I am hopeful the stay will be short-lived and that we will be able to resume issuing licenses soon.”

Hall began issuing same-sex marriage licenses on June 25, immediately after the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The 10th Circuit includes Colorado, which does not allow same-sex marriage, but does recognize civil unions. 

The high court ruled in response to an appeal from Republican Atty. Gen. John Suthers, who has been trying to stop Hall from issuing the marriage licenses for weeks. The court said it would hear Suthers' appeal and ordered Boulder County to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the meantime.

The court said it would hear the case on or before Oct. 20.

In a statement, Suthers said Tuesday: “Today, the Colorado Supreme Court restored order to the state’s legal process by making it clear that all clerk and recorders should comply with existing state law. We are pleased that the focus may now return to the important constitutional issues posed by the same-sex marriage cases pending in Colorado and around the country.”

Suthers had asked the court on Monday to step in and stop Hall, arguing in a motion that her actions were causing “statewide confusion and legal chaos.”

Earlier, the state Supreme Court had ordered Denver County to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

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4:43 p.m.: This story has been updated with comments from Hillary Hall and John Suthers. It was originally posted at 2:57 p.m.

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