Judge hearing cases against Colorado's gay marriage ban often noted demise of other states' bans

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. - Colorado's gay marriage ban appears to be on thin ice after a court hearing Monday.

The judge hearing two lawsuits against the ban repeatedly noted that 15 other judges have recently struck down gay marriage bans. C. Scott Crabtree also mocked the Colorado Attorney General's argument that the ban was needed to protect the procreative nature of marriage. Crabtree mentioned two friends of his who are getting married at age 65 and said procreation is not a reason for that union.

Colorado voters banned gay marriage in 2006. Crabtree was hearing arguments in two lawsuits filed recently challenging the measure.

The first lawsuit involves an Adams County same-sex couple, Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd, who sued last year after they were refused a marriage certificate.

The second lawsuit involves nine other couples who filed a lawsuit in February to overturn the state's voter-approved gay marriage ban. The two cases have been consolidated and will be heard together.

Crabtree will issue a written ruling later. His decision will likely be appealed.

Last year, state lawmakers passed a bill granting unmarried couples, both gay and heterosexual, the right to apply for a civil union. The bill took effect on May 1, 2013.

However, the nine couples filed their lawsuit against Denver Clerk & Recorder Debra Johnson, the State of Colorado and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper saying that's an unequal option.

Those couples are asking for marriage license for the five couples who are not married, and asking for marriage recognition for the four couples who were married in other states.

In their case, Brinkman and Burd are asking the court to "mandate the Clerk and Recorder of Adams County to issue them a marriage license, and for all other just and proper relief in the premises."

Read the Brinkman lawsuit.

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