Yesterday, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers paved the way for the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This has been a long fought battle for marriage equality; in 2006, Colorado passed Amendment 43 which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. In 2010, the 10 th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Utah's ban on gay marriage, and many County Clerks began issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Colorado. Mr. Suthers sued the County Clerks who issued the licenses in a response to the stay on the 10 th Circuits ruling as an appeal was pending.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States turned away appeals from five states which were requesting to prohibit same-sex marriage. In essence, this ended the stays on issuing same-sex marriage licenses for those states that were awaiting appeal decisions. This led the Colorado Attorney General to issue the following statement, "There are no remaining legal requirements that prevent same-sex couples from legally marrying in Colorado. Beginning today, Colorado's 64 county clerks are legally required to issue licenses to same-sex couples who request them. In addition, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is required to register such marriages in the records of the state of Colorado." County Clerks in Pueblo and Larimer counties began issuing same-sex marriage licenses hours after the Supreme Court denied review. In support of this move, Mr. Suthers has stated that he will no longer defend Colorado's Amendment 43.
With the actions by the Supreme Court, 30 states and the District of Columbia now have legalized same-sex marriage. Six more states are up for grabs as the 6 th and 9 th Circuit Courts have the same issue on their dockets. However, there are many other states that ban same-sex marriage and the refusal by the Supreme Court to hear the issue means that same-sex marriages still have an indefinite future.
The issues of marriage and divorce are complicated - ones that have significant impacts on a person's life, family, and well-being. If you are experiencing legal difficulties with your family life, you should contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can guide you through those difficult times.
Please contact the Domestic Team at Feldmann Nagel Margulis for all of your family law needs.