Colorado attorney general seeks moratorium on same-sex marriage litigation

DENVER Wed Jul 2, 2014 10:42pm EDT

DENVER (Reuters) - The Colorado attorney general's office filed a motion in federal court on Wednesday, seeking an injunction to suspend same-sex marriage litigation in the state until the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately rules on the issue.

Last week the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled that neighboring Utah cannot stop gay couples from being wed, but stayed the order until the Supreme Court decides.

Since then the clerk in Colorado's Boulder County has issued nearly 100 same-sex marriage licenses, and has rejected requests by the attorney general's office to halt the practice.

In Wednesday's motion, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, the attorney general's office said that without an injunction the legal uncertainty would "invite a race to the clerks' office" by couples seeking licenses before the issue is resolved by higher courts.

On Tuesday, six couples filed suit in Denver federal court seeking to overturn Colorado's constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The state does permit same-sex civil unions.

Dan Domenico, Colorado's solicitor general, said a temporary halt would be beneficial to all sides.

"We hope and believe that if granted, today's motion will help end the divisive, costly, and now unnecessary litigation regarding same-sex marriage in Colorado," he said in a statement.

The attorney general's office will file similar motions in state court, where gay couples have also filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the ban, it said.

In Boulder, the elected county clerk has said same-sex licenses are "legal and just," and that she will continue to issue them. [ID:nL2N0PC1ZB]

Attorney General John Suthers has threatened to take unspecified legal action against her, arguing that Colorado's ban on gay marriage remains in place because the 10th Circuit stayed its verdict on Utah.

In a letter sent to the attorney general's office on Wednesday, Boulder County Attorney Ben Pearlman said the county will continue issuing marriage licenses to gays because "the (10th Circuit) stay is too fragile a shield to hide behind."

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Ken Wills)

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Comments (6)
Eideard wrote:
If the Colorado AG had a bit of backbone, a forward-facing sense of justice and history, he would come down on the side of equal civil rights. He could stop dragging his feet to satisfy the most backwards elements of society.

Or is it whatever office he intends next to contest that determines his role of elected leadership?

Jul 02, 2014 11:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
COindependent wrote:
@Eldehard. We have processes in this country, and state, where the law can be changed. it was only recently that Colorado voters banned same sex “marriage”, even while the legislature approved “civil unions”. But that wasn’t good enough for the activists, as their agenda is to destroy the religious basis of marriage.

We cannot have elected officials ignoring laws they do not agree with, that’s not how it works. There are laws I do not agree with, and so does everyone else. Does that mean I can ignore them?

As usual, those demanding tolerance, are the least tolerant among us. The “rights” of the 3% who embrace this lifestyle, supersede those of the 97%. If I disagree with their lifestyle, then I am labeled “homophobic”. Candidly, I do not care what they do in the privacy of their home, but stop waiving your “right” in my face.

Jul 03, 2014 9:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
OnTheGround wrote:
There are probably the same percentages of queers who were “born that way” as in the 1950s. The President has been seriously manipulated by the proponents of the queer agenda. The number of queers can only be maintained by recruitment, or predatory behavior by those already in on it. The changes in the laws are nothing more than “special rights for special interests.”
Other people in social special interest segment have excessive desire-based behavior (such as this) as well. Are you involved in alcoholism, drug-addiction, excessive gambling, or excessive eating? Step right up for your “rights” at the expense of everyone else!

Jul 03, 2014 9:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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