Judge: Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall can keep issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

BOULDER, Colo. - A Boulder County judge has once again refused to stop the Boulder County Clerk's office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Earlier this month, the Colorado Attorney General's Office asked Judge Andrew Hartman to stop Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall from issuing the licenses to same-sex couples.

However, Hartman ruled that the AG's office failed to prove that Hall's actions harmed the couples or the state and denied the injunction.

The state asked Hartman to reconsider his ruling and/or stay his ruling, but on Wednesday Hartman once again denied the state's request.

"The State has offered no actual support in favor of reconsideration, more cases have found same sex marriage bans unconstitutional since the Court issued its ruling and the State not met its burden to obtain a stay pending appeal under established Colorado law," Hartman said in his ruling.

That means the Boulder County Clerk's office can continue to issue the licenses. Hartman's decision only covers the Boulder County Clerk and is opposite of the decision made by the Colorado Supreme Court in a case involving other clerks.

"We are very pleased with the ruling and will continue to issue licenses," Hall said in a statement given to 7NEWS.

The Boulder County Clerk's office said it has issued 181 marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as of 4:50 p.m. Wednesday.

-- Boulder Clerk starting issuing licenses June 25 --

Hall started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples four weeks ago after the 10th Circuit Court ruled that Utah's ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.

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, according to the Boulder County Clerk's Office.

"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 Hall.

However, Colorado's Attorney General disagrees.

"Colorado’s constitutional prohibition on same-sex marriages remains in effect. (The) 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 said.

-- Two other clerks started, then stopped issuing licenses --

In the four weeks since Hall's decision to issue licenses, the Denver and Pueblo clerks also started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

However, Colorado's Supreme Court ordered the Denver clerk to stop last Friday and her office immediately complied.

While the decision did not include Boulder and Pueblo, Pueblo County agreed to stop issuing licenses at the request of the Attorney General's office. Boulder's clerk did not.

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