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Federal judge overturns Colo. gay ‘marriage’ ban, stays ruling pending appeal

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

A federal judge on Wednesday declared Colorado’s 2006 voter-approved ban on same-sex “marriage” unconstitutional, but ordered a stay blocking enforcement of his ruling pending the state’s appeal.

The ruling came in response to a motion filed July 2 by Colorado’s Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, and Republican Attorney General John Suthers, who said they would prefer to suspend the state’s costly defense of the ban pending the outcome of the appeal of a recent 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that struck down a similar ban in neighboring Utah as “unconstitutional.”

On Wednesday, Judge Raymond Moore denied their request to suspend the lawsuit pending the outcome of the Utah appeal.  Instead, he granted a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of his ruling through August 25, in order to give Suthers a chance to file his own appeal with the 10th Circuit.  Suthers, who strongly supports the same-sex “marriage” ban, filed the appeal just one hour later, in defiance of Gov. Hickenlooper, who supports gay “marriage” and had previously urged him to drop the case.

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"We are gratified Judge Moore agreed with us that additional litigation in that court would be wasteful given that our laws' status will be decided by the Supreme Court's decision in the Utah's case," Suthers said in a statement. "We expect the court of appeals to continue the stay, as it and the supreme courts of the U.S. and Colorado have in similar cases."

Since the 10th Circuit is the court that struck down Utah’s ban, it is likely Wednesday’s decision means Suthers will have to continue his appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will reconvene in October.

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