Boulder clerk refuses to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples despite legal threat

DENVER - Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall says despite a threat by the Attorney General's Office, she will continue to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"Our position is the same as previously stated," Hall said in a statement sent to 7NEWS. "Same-sex licenses are legal and just licenses and we will continue to issue them.”

"It's not about politics," Hall told 7NEWS reporter Tyler Lopez. "History will be on our side."

While Hall waits for the court's decision, she said she feels like it's her duty to issues these licenses.

"[We've received] "overwhelmingly positive support for our position," Hall told Lopez.

Last Wednesday, in response to the historic ruling in the 10th Circuit Court in favor of gay marriage, Hall announced she would begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately.

Two licenses were issued before the office closed Wednesday. Hall said 88 licenses have been issued since then.

Hall said because 10th Circuit decisions are binding in the State of Colorado, the precedent established by a Utah case, Kitchen v. Herbert, is applicable to the same-sex marriage ban contained in the Colorado Constitution.

"The 10th Circuit Court covers Colorado and Utah, so we felt that the stay applied to the clerks in Utah and it didn't mandate that they start issuing licenses right away so we didn’t feel it applied to us," said County Clerk Hall.

However, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers disagreed.

"Colorado’s constitutional prohibition on same-sex marriages remains in effect," Suthers said in a statement. "(Wednesday's) decision by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals was stayed by the Court and has not gone into effect even in Utah, let alone in Colorado. Any marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in Colorado before a final court resolution of the issue are invalid."

Suthers gave Hall until Tuesday at noon to stop issuing licenses or face legal action.

Hall asked for an extension until July 8, because her primary counsel is on vacation and county offices are closed July 4 and July 7.

However, the Attorney General's Office refused, saying the 10th Circuit's decision is not yet in effect and it does not change Colorado law.

"[We] must continue to insist that Clerk Hall cease doing so while she considers her options," the letter from Solicitor General Dan Domenico said. "If she elects to continue after today, I am afraid we will be forced to take legal action."

Domenico and the AG's office have not issued a statement since Hall said she will continue.

Print this article Back to Top