Attorney General Orders Marriage License Halt

Tuesday Jul 1, 2014
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Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan listens at left as Colorado Attorney General John Suthers speaks.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan listens at left as Colorado Attorney General John Suthers speaks.  (Source:AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Colorado’s attorney general has ordered the Boulder County clerk to stop issuing gay-marriage licenses by Tuesday.

Republican Attorney General John Suthers told County Clerk Hillary Hall in a letter dated Friday that the licenses "cannot be recognized."

A spokesman for the attorney general said Monday afternoon that Hall had not responded to the letter.

Colorado’s constitution bans same-sex unions, but the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled last week in a Utah case that states cannot ban marriages based on the genders of people participating. Hall responded by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The 10th Circuit put its ruling on hold, however, pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. So Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban remains in effect.

Suthers pointed out in his letter that Hall is the only one of Colorado’s 64 clerks issuing marriage licenses.

"As things currently stand, nobody can be happy," Suthers wrote in the letter first reported by The Denver Post on Monday. Suthers said the issuing of licenses in Boulder County but not in other counties prompts confusion.

Suthers suggested that the state appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court to determine whether Hall has the authority to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Also Monday, six same-sex couples from Colorado announced plans to file a lawsuit challenging the court’s stay.

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This article is part of our "Gay Marriage" series. Want to read more? Here's the full list»

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