Colorado Attorney General John Suthers instructed county clerks in the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Tuesday.
“There are no remaining legal requirements that prevent same-sex couples from legally marrying in Colorado,” Suthers said in a statement. “Beginning today, Colorado’s 64 county clerks are legally required to issue licenses to same-sex couples who request them. In addition, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is required to register such marriages in the records of the State of Colorado.”
Following the move by Suthers, who is a Republican, Colorado becomes the first state impacted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Monday decision to decline to hear arguments in cases challenging same-sex marriage bans in five states that is not one of those five states. Because Colorado is under the jurisdiction of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, that court’s rulings overturning same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma applies to all states in the circuit, including Colorado.
Earlier Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court dismissed the appeals and lifted the stays of two state court decisions striking down Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban.
Monday’s decision by the Supreme Court not to hear cases challenging same-sex marriage bans in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin allowed lower court decisions legalizing same-sex marriage in those states to stand. Due to the fact that the 4th Circuit, 7th Circuit and 10th Circuit Courts of Appeals have all issued judgement in those cases, same-sex marriage will likely soon be legalized in West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, and Wyoming as well.
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