Pueblo county halts same-sex marriages

KUSA - Boulder County is now the only place in Colorado issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after Pueblo county's clerk decided to stop issuing the licenses Monday afternoon.

Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz told 9NEWS he stopped issuing licenses to same-sex couples at 1p.m. Monday, after state Attorney General John Suthers sent a cease and desist letter, threatening to sue Pueblo County.

"I believe that Suthers is on the wrong side of history and my office is reluctantly ceasing to issue licenses as of this afternoon," Ortiz wrote in a tweet.

Ortiz told 9NEWS further comment would be coming in the form of a press release, adding "I'm putting all of my anger on paper right now."

Officials with the Boulder County Clerk's office, which has already been sued by Suthers' office, told 9NEWS that they had no intention of halting same-sex marriages there.

Hillary Hall, the clerk for Boulder County, was the first to begin issuing the licenses in the wake of a 10th circuit court of appeals ruling against Utah's ban on same-sex marriage.

That appellate court placed a stay on its ruling until it can be appealed to the US Supreme Court.

Suthers says Colorado is bound by the stay.

The state supreme court blocked Denver County from issuing licenses last week, but declined to apply its order beyond Adams and Denver counties, the only two counties directly involved in that court action.

Suthers tried and failed to get a district court judge to impose a restraining order against Boulder while his lawsuit against Hall is heard.

In response to Pueblo County, Suthers' office issued the following statement:

"This afternoon the Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder at the request of the Attorney General discontinued issuance of same-sex marriage licenses. In doing so, we've been able to avoid further wasteful litigation.

We are gratified that Clerk Ortiz has recognized that he needs to be on the right side of the law. No matter one's views on the issue of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court of Colorado has made clear that until it has had a chance to rule on the merits, clerks must enforce the state's laws, which are still in effect."

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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