Republican-Appointed Colorado Judge Overturns Marriage Ban

BTL Staff

COLORADO - Adams County District Court Judge on July 9 declared Colorado's ban on same-sex marriages as unconstitutional.

In his 49-page ruling Judge C. Scott Crabtree, appointed by Republican Governor Bill Owens in 2001, said that the state's voter-approved ban "bears no rational relationship to any conceivable government interest."

Crabtree immediately stayed his ruling and the Colorado Attorney General John Suthers' office said it will repeal the ruling.

"The Court holds that the Marriage Bans violate plaintiffs' due process and equal protection guarantees under the Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution," Crabtree said. "The existence of civil unions is further evidence of discrimination against same-sex couples and does not ameliorate the discriminatory effect of the Marriage Bans."

Crabtree also stated that if civil unions were truly the same thing as marriages they would be called marriages and not civil unions. And that if they were the same, there would be no need for both of them.

"The final chapter of this debate will undoubtedly have to be written either in Denver, Colorado or Washington, D.C.," the judge wrote. "While the striking down of laws banning same-sex marriages has been progressing at a rapid rate, it will take time for this issue to be finally resolved."

With this ruling, Colorado becomes the latest in a 24 set of states that have seen state same-sex marriage bans tossed out by federal judges. This decision follows two major court events in Colorado: Boulder Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall, who has been issuing same-sex marriage licenses, met in a courtroom with the Colorado Attorney General's Office who asked a judge to temporarily order Hall to cease issuing the licenses, Attorney General John Suthers filed a lawsuit against Hall last week, stating that issuing these licenses ignores the judicial procedure; and six couples from across Colorado filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to declare the state's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.

"Yet another court has concluded that there is no good reason for denying gay couples the freedom to marry, and has found marriage discrimination unconstitutional," President of Freedom to Marry, Evan Wolfson said. "It is time that Colorado's gay couples and their loved ones be able to share in the joy and security that marriage brings, and time for the Supreme Court to bring the freedom to marry home nationwide. Every day of denial is a day of wrongful deprivation. Today's latest victory in the Mountain West shows that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry "


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