News (USA)

Federal judge considers separate Colorado same-sex marriage challenge

Federal judge considers separate Colorado same-sex marriage challenge

DENVER — A federal judge says he will decide by July 25 whether to order Colorado to immediately allow same-sex couples to marry.

ColoradoU.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore is presiding over a lawsuit against the state’s samesex marriage ban. There is no dispute that he will find that the ban is unconstitutional. The only disagreement is whether he should stay his ruling or let it take effect immediately.

Last week, Colorado District Judge C. Scott Crabtree ruled that the state’s 2006 voter-approved gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. But he put that ruling on hold pending appeal, meaning the Colorado ban remains in place.

That case was filed in state court; Moore is presiding over a separate challenge filed in federal court on July 1.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers’ office is urging a stay until the U.S. Supreme Court settles the issue. The plaintiffs’ lawyers want no stay.

On Tuesday, Moore said he’d decide by next Friday.

Meanwhile, Suthers is also asking the state supreme court to stop county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples as long as the state ban remains in effect.

The federal challenge is Burns v. Hickenlooper.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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