Colorado loses another attempt to stop clerk from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples

DENVER - Colorado lost another attempt to block a county clerk from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday.

District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree, the same judge who declared Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional last week in a ruling on an Adams County lawsuit, denied the state's request for an injunction against Denver's Clerk & Recorder. Clerk Debra Johnson began issuing the licenses to same-sex couples on Thursday, after another court refused to block Boulder's clerk from doing the same thing.

Unlike Crabtree's ruling in the Adams County case, the ruling in Boulder did not issue a decision on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. It simply ruled that the state did not meet the legal burden to prove an injunction should be issued against Boulder's clerk.

Crabtree put his ruling in the Adams County lawsuit on hold immediately, as the case awaits an appeal to a higher court. He noted in Monday's order that Johnson has decided to issue the licenses despite being aware of that pending appeal.

Still, the judge says he does not find the state's argument citing case precedent "persuasive" and denied an injunction against Johnson's office.

Pueblo's clerk has also issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Four other counties have said they would not issue the licenses until there is a more definitive ruling on the constitutionality of the state's ban.

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