Update: Thursday July 10, 1:18 p.m.
After Thursday’s ruling approving Hall to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Denver’s clerk and recorder Debra Johnson announced that she will begin to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite the ban in place.
The decision was announced by Johnson shortly after Suthers’ request for an injunction was denied.
— Debra Johnson (@CRDenver) July 10, 2014
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Update: Thursday July 10, 11:16 a.m.
A judge denied Attorney General John Suthers’ request for an injunction Thursday, allowing Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall to continue issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
District Court Judge Andrew Harman stated in his ruling that the Attorney General’s office could not prove that Hall’s decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples was harmful for those couples.
Two temporary measures were put in place after the ruling.
First, Hall must identify and report all marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples to the Department of Public Health and Welfare, the Center for Health and Environmental Information and Services and the Boulder County Vital Records Office.
The second measure requires Hall to inform those same-sex couples who have been issued marriage licenses and those in the future, “… that the validity of their marriages is dependent upon whether a court would find that Clerk Hall had authority to allow same-sex marriages.”
This ruling comes a day after the same-sex marriage ban in Colorado was struck down in Adams County. Since the Adams County decision is still pending in the higher courts, same-sex marriage licenses could potentially be deemed invalid in the future, depending on the ultimate outcome.
After Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall issued more than 100 marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning June 25, the case was brought to a judge Wednesday to determine Hall’s authority to issue licenses in the future.
A federal appeals court ruling in Utah said states cannot prevent same-sex couples from getting married, which prompted action from Hall. After a week of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers gave Hall extra time to consult the Supreme Court, but he threatened her with legal action if she continued issuing the licenses.
Last week, Suthers filed a lawsuit against Hall when she continued issuing licenses to same-sex couples. Wednesday, the two-week battle went to a Boulder courthouse.
Michael Francisco, solicitor general for the Attorney General’s Office, commented on the original Utah ruling that prompted Hall’s action. He said that the ruling in Utah was a step, not the finish line, and that Hall’s actions created a harmful situation for same-sex couples.
Boulder County Deputy Attorney David Hughes represented Hall in the courtroom. Hughes said that the harm for same-sex couples if they are not allowed to marry would outweigh that of issuing marriage licenses. He emphasized the state’s focus on Hall as a rebel, rather than focusing on the same-sex couples of Colorado affected by Hall’s acts.
Most members of the audience supported Hall. Three witnesses, to whom Hall issued marriage licenses, testified in her favor. After the hearing, Hall felt positive and said, “I’m just doing my job.”
The three-hour hearing ended with Attorney Judge Andrew Hartman’s statement that a decision on Suthers’ injunction against Hall would be made shortly.
Collegian Features and Entertainment Editor Keegan Williams can be reached at email@example.com.