Colorado ban on same-sex marriage soon to be lifted
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not rule on appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin regarding their bans on same-sex marriage. Because the Court did not issue a ruling, the previous rulings lifting the bans have been solidified.
Because the Utah case was argued in the 10th Circuit, and Colorado also falls in that jurisdiction, a lift on Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban will go into effect “in a matter of days,” according to a statement from Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.
“Once the formalities are resolved, clerks across the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to all same-sex couples,” Suthers said in the statement. He said licenses that are issued before the ban is officially lifted will probably not be valid, but the process of lifting the ban will likely take only a few days.
“Today marks a historic day on the march towards marital equality,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper in a statement. “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to review the same-sex marriage cases in other states means that 10th Circuit’s decision is binding in Colorado. While there are a few more steps in the process, we are that much closer to declaring marriage equality for all Coloradans.”
Last month, Carbondale Trustee Katrina Byars led the call for a resolution to show support to the LGBT community. Because of the Colorado ban on same-sex marriage, that support would have been purely symbolic. Now, Byars is thrilled that local same-sex couples will soon have the opportunity to marry.
“I think it’s wonderful news, and it’s an important step toward equal rights for everyone,” Byars said. “People from middle-schoolers to senior citizens have told me how important it is that we’re having this conversation.”
Todd Chamberlin is on the board of directors for Aspen Out, an LGBT volunteer nonprofit that organizes educational programs and events in the valley as well as in partnership with state and national groups like One Colorado and the Human Rights Campaign. He has been with his partner, Corey Simpson, for 17 years. While Simpson’s parents are out of the country for the next six months, Chamberlin said when they come home, he plans on taking advantage of the opportunity to get married.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Chamberlin said of the lift on Colorado’s gay marriage ban. “Me and my partner Corey can’t wait to celebrate our 17 years with family and friends sometime in the near future. For us being together for 17 years, marriage is more a celebration of our love, commitment and understanding for one another in the past, present and future that we want all our friends and relatives to join us for.”
Kevin McManamon, president of the Aspen Out board of directors, said the Supreme Court’s decision not to rule on the five states’ appeals came as a surprise.
“I believe that the Supreme Court will rule on it, but probably not until the spring of 2015 when more states start jumping on the bandwagon,” he said. “It’s exciting, but there are still some legal battles we have to get through yet.”
According to state officials, though, those legal battles should not take long.
“We’re thrilled at the speed it’s taken,” McManamon said. “When you have five or six states that join in one day, we’re making great strides toward marriage equality.”
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