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Colorado Couple Suing Over State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

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A Colorado couple has filed a lawsuit aimed at overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

7News in Denver reports that Dr. Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd applied for a marriage license from the Adams County Clerk's office. The clerk told them that they were not eligible because they are both female and offered them a civil unions license instead. The couple rejected the clerk's offer and instead filed suit in district court Wednesday.

Colorado legalized same-sex civil unions earlier this year, with the first couples being granted a civil union in May, but same-sex marriage was banned in the state in 2006. The lawsuit that Brinkman and Burd filed argues that civil unions do not grant the same rights to couples that marriage does.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, the law that barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states, is unconstitutional. The nation's highest court also overturned California's same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8.

While neither of those rulings directly affect Colorado's law, 9News' legal analyst said that "it's simply a matter of time" before Colorado's same-sex marriage ban is also ruled unconstitutional.

Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver), who became the state's first openly gay man to hold the title in the Legislature earlier in 2013, said after the DOMA ruling that LGBT-rights groups led by One Colorado are in the process of putting together a plan to repeal the ban on same-sex marriage in the state.

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