Skip to main content

Colorado's same-sex marriage ban shouldn't stand, judge rules

By Greg Botelho and Bill Mears, CNN
updated 8:20 PM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The Rev. Tony Larsen and his partner, Craig Matheus, are refused a marriage license by Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen, right, in the clerk's office in Racine, Wisconsin, on Friday, June 13. The county does not grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a judge's ruling that the state ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The Rev. Tony Larsen and his partner, Craig Matheus, are refused a marriage license by Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen, right, in the clerk's office in Racine, Wisconsin, on Friday, June 13. The county does not grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a judge's ruling that the state ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
HIDE CAPTION
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
Same-sex marriage in U.S.
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Colorado judge rules against his state's same-sex marriage ban
  • He says it violates gay and lesbians' constitutional rights
  • Crabtree stays his own ruling pending appeals

(CNN) -- A state judge struck down Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, but he prevented gay and lesbian couples from immediately marrying by staying his decision.

"The court holds that the marriage bans violate plaintiffs' due process and equal protection guarantees under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," Judge C. Scott Crabtree wrote.

Crabtree also ruled that same-sex marriages performed out-of-state should be recognized in Colorado and that having "civil unions" instead of marriages "is further evidence of discrimination against same-sex couples."

While the judge clearly came down in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry, he did not give the go-ahead for such marriages to occur right away.

His rationale is the "final chapter of this undoubtedly has to be written in either Denver, Colorado, or Washington, DC" and that "it will take time for this issue to be finally resolved."

"The court finds that a stay is necessary to avoid the instability and uncertainty which would result in the state of Colorado if the court did not stay its ruling and for the orderly administration of justice," said Crabtree, ordering his own judgment to be "stayed pending a resolution of this matter on appeal."

Crabtree is the latest judge to rule same-sex marriage prohibitions -- like the one in Colorado's state constitution -- should not stand. Most of those rulings have come from federal judges in the year after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark U.S. v. Windsor ruling.

While these decisions have been one-sided in favor of gay and lesbian couples pushing for marriage on par with opposite-sex couples, most of them have been stayed as appeals work through the system.

The U.S. Supreme Court hasn't decided when or, even, if it might consider whether same-sex marriage bans in individual states should be allowed.

Utah wants Supreme Court to back its same-sex marriage ban

Same-sex marriages put on hold in Indiana by federal appeals court

Judge rules Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Same-sex marriage debate
Find out which states match your values when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.
updated 4:10 PM EDT, Sat September 13, 2014
Here's a look at what you need to know about same-sex marriage in the U.S. and worldwide.
Which states allow same-sex marriage, and which states don't?
updated 3:39 PM EDT, Thu August 29, 2013
Here's a look at same-sex marriage in the United States, by the numbers.
updated 7:48 PM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
In the same-sex marriage debate, Elton John believes he knows where Jesus would've stood.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA.
updated 8:26 AM EDT, Sat June 28, 2014
Anthony Sullivan was a young Australian with Robert Redford looks. Richard Adams emigrated from the Philippines as a child and became an American citizen.
updated 10:08 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
The ruling creates greater momentum for the Supreme Court to decide whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to wed.
updated 3:31 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to allow pastors to marry same-sex couples in states where it is legal.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT