COLORADO, USA — Sunday, March 26, marked 48 years since Clela Rorex signed the first same-sex marriage licenses in the United States. Rorex, a former Boulder County clerk, went on to become a well-known ally in the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado.
Now, lawmakers are hoping to take that recognition nationwide.
"It was inside that building where those first same-sex marriage licenses were originally signed back in 1975," Neil Fishman said as he stood outside the old Boulder County Courthouse along Pearl Street. "It became a federal law last year, but it started right here in Boulder with Clela's heroic actions in 1975."
Fishman chairs the Advocacy and Public Policy Committee for Out Boulder County. When Clela died at 78 last June, he couldn't let her efforts go with her.
The Board of County Commissioners proclaimed a Clela Rorex Day for Boulder County. Now, he hopes to take it a step further.
"We were just brainstorming and [we said] you know what, let's talk to our elected officials," Fishman said.
Colorado lawmakers introduced a resolution to create a national Clela Rorex Day. The resolution is supported by the entire Colorado delegation of Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives.
"We have every reason to believe that it will pass the Senate," Fishman said.
"Although it's been introduced in the House, we hope it will pass."
"We have to know our history in able to move the LGBTQ community forward," Mardi Moore, the Executive Director of Out Boulder County, said.
Moore was a friend to Rorex.
"Somebody isn't really gone until their name is uttered for the last time, and I never want Clela to be gone," she said.
If Rorex had her way, she wouldn't make history books. But in order to look ahead, the past must be present.
"She'd say she was doing her job," Fishman said. "Regardless of what's happening in the moment, we always have the future and we can take the future under control if we continue to keep hope alive."
If the resolution does not pass, Out Boulder County said they won't give up. They will continue to try until it does.
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