U.S. judge strikes down Colorado's gay marriage ban, stays ruling

Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:29pm EDT
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By Daniel Wallis

DENVER (Reuters) - A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, but stayed his ruling until the issue is decided by a higher court.

U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore found in favor of six same-sex couples who filed a lawsuit challenging the state's 2006 constitutional amendment that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Moore's 12-page ruling was the latest in a series of decisions by state and federal judges who have struck down state bans on gay marriage and then put their rulings on hold pending appeal.

Moore stayed his decision until Aug. 25.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said he was gratified the judge agreed that additional litigation in that court would be wasteful, since the U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to hear an appeal in neighboring Utah's case.

The Colorado law's status "will be decided by the Supreme Court's decision," Suthers, a Republican, said in a statement. His office later filed an appeal against Wednesday's decision with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mari Newman, an attorney for the same-sex couples, said the attorney general's position was the only thing standing in the way of marriage equality for everyone in the state.

"It is time for him to back down from this losing battle and allow Colorado to treat all of its families with equality and dignity," Newman said.   Continued...

Two men, both wearing signs that read "he's the groom", hold hands shortly after midnight after getting a civil union when Colorado's civil union law went into effect in Denver May 1, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking