(July 3) – Five LGBT members of the Colorado General Assembly called on state officials today to formally, and without further delay, drop any defense of Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriages.
In a federal court filing on Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by six Colorado couples challenging the constitutionality of Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban, Attorney General John Suthers, in coordination with Gov. John Hickenlooper, essentially conceded the inevitability that the courts will strike down the Colorado law.
“We want to thank Attorney General Suthers and Governor Hickenlooper for what they did yesterday in saying that there’s really no point wasting our breath, wasting taxpayer dollars defending an unconstitutional law,” Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver), said at a press conference this morning.
But in his request to the judge to halt proceedings in the Colorado case while the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether review a federal appeals court’s ruling striking down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, Attorney General Suthers asked that any ruling tossing out Colorado’s ban be stayed, i.e., delayed.
The legislators argued against a stay, saying justice delayed is justice denied.
“This law is unconstitutional and it will fall,” Sen. Steadman said. “We call upon Attorney General Suthers and Governor Hickenlooper to please speed us to that inevitable conclusion. Don’t delay. Don’t appeal. Concede. Confess the unconstitutionality of this law and let equality come home here to Colorado. It’s time.”
“In ruling after ruling, the courts have found that marriage equality is just a basic, fundamental right in our country,” said Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver). “We are on a strong march towards equality for all couples in Colorado, and hopefully it’s a short march.”
“Twenty-three courts have said that a ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional,” said Sen. Jessie Ulibarri (D-Westminster), who married his longtime partner, Louis Trujillo, last week after Boulder County began issuing marriage licenses in the wake of the Utah ruling.
“There are countless champions for the cause of marriage equality in Colorado, but I want to thank the six courageous couples who filed this lawsuit,” said Senate President Pro Tem Lucia Guzman (D-Denver), who has been in a committed relationship with her partner, Martha, for 21 years. “Without them we would not have taken this important step toward ensuring that Colorado’s laws do not discriminate.”