Rebecca Brinkman, Margaret Burd sue Adams County for same-sex marriage license

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. - An Adams County District Court judge will hear oral arguments Monday afternoon in the case of two women who want a marriage license.

Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd said they went to the Adams County Clerk and Recorder's Office on October 30, 2013 and asked for an application for a marriage license.

In a lawsuit filed against Adams County Clerk & Recorder Karen Long, the women said the deputy clerk looked at their driver's licenses and said "they could not get married to each other because they were both female. She said they could only get a license for a civil union."

The lawsuit says the plaintiffs rejected the civil union application because, "a civil union is not the same as marriage, because a civil union is more like a business relationship than a marriage between two people who love each other and are committed to each other."

In 2007, Colorado voters banned gay marriage in the Colorado constitution by passing Amendment 43.

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.

Nine couples in Colorado filed a lawsuit in February against Denver Clerk & Recorder Debra Johnson, the State of Colorado and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper saying that's an unequal option.

The couples in that lawsuit 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.

"Same-sex couples in Colorado are relegated to a second-class level of citizenship that denies their relationships the full panoply of rights enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples," the lawsuit says. "Even same-sex couples who have been validly married in other states are stripped of their marital status when they enter the state of Colorado. This denial of equal protection, due process, and basic fairness violates the Constitution of the United States of America."

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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