Colorado judge backs county clerk over gay marriage licenses
By Keith Coffman and Daniel Wallis
DENVER (Reuters) - A state judge in Colorado on Thursday backed a county clerk who has issued more than 100 marriage licenses to gay couples, and another county clerk in Denver said she would begin issuing the permits.
In a second day of victories for supporters of gay marriage in Colorado, a judge rejected a motion by the state's attorney general seeking to stop Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall from handing out more licenses.
Within hours the county clerk in the state's biggest city, Denver, also began issuing the licenses. And the clerk in Pueblo County said his office would start giving out permits on Friday.
Noting that his decision was part of a "fast-moving legal environment" nationwide, Boulder County District Court Judge Andrew Hartman said the state had failed to meet the high burden of proof required for such a move against Hall, an elected official.
His ruling came less than 24 hours after another state judge struck down Colorado's ban on same-sex marriages, then put that decision on hold pending appeal.
"This is a victory for all loving couples wishing to marry," Hall said in a statement.
Emboldened by a landmark U.S. appeals court ruling on June 25 that found in favor of gay marriage in neighboring Utah, she has so far issued 123 licenses to gay couples.
The attorney general's office asked her to stop and then filed the lawsuit. Continued...