Federal judge will decide on Colorado gay marriage case by July 25

Denver Clerk and Recorder dropped from lawsuit

DENVER - U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore is trying to expedite the case involving six same-sex couples who are suing the state of Colorado because of it's ban on same-sex marriage.

Moore has asked the defendants -- Governor John Hickenlooper, Attorney General John Suthers and Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Pam Anderson -- to submit briefings by Friday.  He set the next court hearing date for Tuesday, July 22, and said he may have a decision by the Friday, July 25.

Denver's Clerk and Recorder, Debra Johnson, was initially listed as a defendant, but her name was withdrawn once she started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. As of Tuesday morning, her office had issued 68 licenses to those couples.

"The Judge recognized how important these issues are," said plaintiff's attorney Mari Newman. "That's why he set an expedited briefing schedule."

Newman said the lawsuit seeks injunctive relief from state laws that ban same sex marriage.

"Justice delayed is justice denied," Newman said. "Everyday that same-sex couples are not allowed to have the same marriage rights as every other other Coloradan is a day that their fundamental constitutional rights are being violated."

Newman told 7NEWS that the Attorney General doesn't disagree with the injunction request, but says he still wants the injunction stayed.  She believes that's a waste of time and money.

"There's no question how this is going to end up," she said. "Marriage equality is coming to Colorado. It's here.  So, there is no reason for our state Attorney General to waste taxpayer money or to engage in this cynical and political battle when real families are at stake."

Suthers has asked the Colorado Supreme Court to stop county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples until the high court settles the gay marriage issue.

The Attorney General says he wants to ensure uniform enforcement of Colorado's laws.

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