Coloradoans are now among the many Americans living in states where gay marriage is legal.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced Tuesday that the state's Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex couples to legally marry. Suthers said the state's county clerks must issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
“There are no remaining legal requirements that prevent same-sex couples from legally marrying in Colorado," Suthers said in a Tuesday statement. "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.”
The U.S. Supreme Court chose not to hear appeals from states seeking to ban gay marriage on Monday, immediately ending delays on legal gay marriage in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. The court's inaction should also clear the way for couples in Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming. Including Colorado, that would mean gay marriage is expected to be legal in 30 states.
Two county clerks in Colorado began issuing gay marriage licenses in the hours following the U.S. Supreme Court's announcement on Monday. Pueblo and Larimer counties were not bound by the Colorado Supreme Court's stay on gay marriage while legal challenges to the state's ban were still pending.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court's inaction on Monday, Suthers said he would no longer defend the state's ban on gay marriage, which existed in the form of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.