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Clerk and Recorder
July 23, 2014 -- Today the
United States District Court for Colorado ruled that the Colorado same sex
marriage ban is unconstitutional and ordered a temporary stay on issuing same
sex marriage licenses pending the state’s appeal to the 10th Circuit
Court of Appeals. They have also stayed any further proceedings as the order
stated, "little would thus be served by requiring the parties to incur the costs
and expenses of litigating to final proceedings in this case while trailing Kitchen.”
(Kitchen is the Utah federal case awaiting action by the U.S.
Supreme Court). I continue to look forward to what I believe is the
approaching day when the issue of marriage equality is legally settled
for Colorado citizens.
For more information regarding my position on the issue please see the following letter.
Clerk & Recorder
July 18, 2014 -- The Colorado Supreme Court in its decision today has ruled narrowly regarding the issue of marriage licensing in Denver County and Adams County. Therefore the appeal will progress in its normal course. I look forward to the day when we have a final binding legal decision for Jefferson County to follow.For more information regarding my position on the issue please see the following letter.Pam Anderson
Dear Jeffco Citizens,Some of you have contacted me regarding the news that they have been following regarding the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in Jefferson County and I wanted to respond. On June 25, 2014 the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (Kitchen v. Herbert, No. 13-4178) that the state of Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage was a violation of the United States Constitution under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. This decision was stayed by the court pending petition to the United States Supreme Court.
Colorado has a similar ban on same sex marriage in our state constitution that is being challenged as unconstitutional. In the last year or so, a case has been proceeding in Colorado (Brinkman et al. v. Long, et. al. No. 13CV32572) and over the last few days the Adams County Court also ruled the Colorado same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional and issued an immediate stay.Upon the 10th Circuit decision, the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder has issued same-sex marriage licenses and a Boulder court has ruled that she may continue issuing licenses pending the final determination of the federal court. Denver is also issuing these licenses. It is with great respect that I support them in their decision. However, I have come to a different conclusion regarding my authority to issue same sex licenses at this time.On July 1, 2014, a lawsuit was filed for a preliminary injunction by six Colorado citizens against the state and Jefferson County to require us to issue same-sex marriage licenses. It is not a surprising development to me that more parties have come forward in what is becoming an increasing complex legal environment that moves slowly for citizens for whom this issue is so vital.As the Clerk and Recorder, I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of both our United States and State Constitution. What makes this issue so challenging is that we are currently in the process of resolving potential conflicts between our state and federal constitutions. I look forward to the approaching day, when the courts finally adjudicate this issue for Colorado citizens; however, there has not yet been issued a binding legal decision for Jeffco to follow. I am monitoring closely all the court activity and am prepared to follow the final determination swiftly once it is settled.I have been asked what my position is on this issue. As an elected County Clerk my role is not to make law. My duty is to implement what the legislature passes, the voters choose at the ballot box, or the courts determine. My duty is legal and ministerial in this case. Therefore without clarity on the law Jefferson County will not yet issue same marriage licenses. However, as an elected official I recognize that my constituents wish to know where I stand. I believe strongly in individual rights and I personally support marriage equality, and look forward to the day when that right is available to all.Respectfully,
July 18, 2014
Letter from the Jeffco Clerk on the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses - July 10, 2014
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