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Day 3: Boulder, Colo., continues issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Licenses now being offered in Boulder, Lafayette and Longmont offices
Friday, June 27, 2014
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Boulder COBrennan Linsley, AP

Longtime couple Angie Holley, right and Bylo Farmer smile for a friend to take their picture as county employee Brenda Young, center, displays the couple’s new marriage license, at the offices of the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder, in Boulder, Colo., Thursday, June 26, 2014. Together eight years, Holley and Farmer decided to become officially married after Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall began issuing licenses a day earlier following a federal appeals court ruling that Utah’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

BOULDER, Colo. — Emboldened by a ruling against Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, Boulder County is continuing to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Clerk Hillary Hall is issuing the licenses for the third straight day in Boulder on Friday despite warnings that gay marriage remains illegal in Colorado. The licenses are also being offered at the clerk’s Lafayette and Longmont offices for the first time.

A total of 34 licenses were issued Wednesday and Thursday, including one to state Sen. Jessie Ulibarri and his partner Louis Trujillo.

Hall began issuing licenses Wednesday after a federal appeals court ruled that Utah’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. More couples showed up Thursday to get licenses and some said they were quickly married by simply signing their certificates, a process allowed under Colorado law.

However, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, legal analysts and even the lawyer challenging Colorado’s gay marriage ban, say Hall’s actions aren’t legal because the ruling is on hold in case of a possible appeal. The ruling has no legal impact until the case is settled, so Utah’s ban is still in place and so is Colorado’s.

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“I think what the Boulder Clerk and Recorder is doing is quite unlawful under Colorado law,” said Ralph Ogden, who represents a lesbian couple suing to overturn Colorado’s gay marriage ban. “You know what side I’m on, and I’d like to say everything is OK, but from the legal side it isn’t.”

Some of the couples getting licenses in Boulder said they went to support Hall’s decision to flout the court’s stay and also wanted to act before Suthers moved to halt the process. The clerk’s office said it had issued 32 licenses on Thursday.

“It really is just about time, and you know, the world is changing and there’s no reason for us not to do it today,” said Felice Cohen, who got a license to marry Jennifer Knight of Longmont. The two were joined in a civil union in May.

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