(Oct. 6) – Legislative leaders of Colorado’s fight for equal rights for same-sex couples hailed today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision not to review lower-court rulings striking down marriage equality bans in seven states.
Colorado was not one of the seven states, but the ruling of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma seemed to doom the marriage equality ban in Colorado, which is also part of the 10th Circuit.
After today’s announcement by the U.S. Supreme Court, Colorado’s attorney general, John Suthers, announced that his office would drop its opposition to marriage equality and would work to hasten the day when Colorado’s 64 county clerks “must begin issuing marriage licenses to all same-sex couples.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision to let the lower-court rulings stand vindicates a lot of work by a lot of people over a lot of years,” said Speaker Mark Ferrandino, the House sponsor, with Rep. Sue Schafer (D-Wheat Ridge), of the 2013 Colorado law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples.
“It’s gratifying that this moment came before my time in the legislature ends,” the term-limited Speaker Ferrandino said, “but what really matters is that our state and our country will finally offer equal treatment under the law to all loving couples.”
“We knew this day would come,” said Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver), who with Senate President Pro Tem Lucia Guzman (D-Denver) were the Senate sponsors of the 2013 law. “The only task left for us is to fix the obsolete Colorado laws now on the books and make them constitutional according to the decisions handed down by the courts, particularly the 10th Circuit.”
“The majority of Americans, and a majority of Coloradans, support marriage equality,” Sen. Guzman said. “This is about families, and Coloradans know that families are the backbone of a strong, healthy state. This decision provides further opportunity for all families to succeed under the law.”