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Defiance in the Boulder County Clerk's offices for same-sex marriages

Hillary Hall, defiant, continues to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Hillary Hall, defiant, continues to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Photo by Paul Aiken / The Boulder Daily Camera Photo: Paul Aiken, AP

As valiant as Boulder County Clerk, Hillary Hall’s actions have been, the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in Boulder or anywhere in Colorado may be squelched. Hall’s efforts made breaking news on Tuesday when she stated that she would continue issuing licenses despite a fuzzy order from Attorney General John W. Suthers which suggested legal action should she continue.

Wednesday, same-sex marriage licenses were still being issued by the Boulder County Clerk’s office. News broke on Thursday that the Attorney General had indeed set out to sue in order to stop Hillary Hall’s efforts.

Hall had begun issuing same-sex marriage licenses last week after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the ban on same-sex marriages on the basis that the ban was unconstitutional. Since that ruling, more states have followed suit in acknowledging and moving towards making possible same-sex marriages within their jurisdictions.

Currently, Colorado is in a bit of a grey area in these matters as rulings become finalized. Though the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the ban on same sex marriages, the Colorado Constitution still bans same-sex marriages in the state. Suthers argues to this point concerning his forward motion on filing suit:

We are continuing to defend state law but we are being good lawyers and recognizing that the 10th Circuit case applies in Colorado and that this fight in not going to take place in the state court in Colorado or the federal district court. The defense of this case is going to take place in the appellate court.

On Wednesday, the Attorney General, along with Governor John Hickenlooper asked the federal court to make all actions in this matter pause, including a collective lawsuit that was filed on Tuesday which challenges the ban.

Hickenlooper speaks to the necessity of these requests

We understand there is frustration with the lengthy judicial process, but waiting until the legal process is finished will ensure that marriage licenses issued to same sex couples are not clouded by uncertainty. We hope the U.S. Supreme Court will take this matter up quickly. Equality for everyone can’t come soon enough.

This begs the question of whether Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall jumped the gun. Regardless, she is unwavering in her actions, defiant. Though the Boulder County Clerk’s office will be closed for the Fourth of July holiday through Monday, the plan is to continue issuing same-sex marriage licenses until and if the office is stopped by court order. Hall was quoted about her stance on this matter in The Los Angeles Times as follows: “We believe the licenses are legal and just. History will be on our side."

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