Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional!

POLS UPDATE: The Denver Post reports:

Judge C. Scott Crabtree pulled no punches in his 49-page ruling, saying the state's voter-approved ban "bears no rational relationship to any conceivable government interest."

The ruling makes Colorado the latest in a string of 16 states that have seen their bans on same-sex marriages tossed out by state and federal judges.

The ruling came as another judge in Boulder County considered a request by Attorney General John Suthers to stop a county clerk from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. And last week, attorneys filed a federal lawsuit seeking to challenge Colorado's gay marriage ban.


Today in Adams County, Judge Scott Crabtree, an Owens appointee and former DA declared Colorado's gay marriage ban unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses of the US Constitution.  Unfortunately he stayed his opinion pending appeal.

Interestingly his opinion held that the recent passage of civil unions was just another discriminatory act by Colorado against gays.  He held that the right to marry is a fundamental right as many courts dating back to 1888 have so ruled.  He ruled that the argument that prohibiting gay marriage was to protect the state's interest in pro-creating was a pretext for discrimination.  He then goes on to quote Mark Paschall and Doug Dean (to of the most notorious right wing fruitcakes in the legislature) making outrageous remarks as further support for the fact that these new arguments are a pretext, calling them a "fabrication."

He found that the states interest in pro-creation was "post hoc in response to litigation."

He also dismissed the personal claims against Hickenlooper under the Federal 1983 act for continuing to enforce the law.

Congrats to all marriage supporters.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    I was at the Pueblo Dems HQ when this news hit, and we all thought it was pretty great, and definitely a victory.

  2. It would be nice if AG Suthers were to read the writing on the wall and decline to file an appeal, but I suspect we're still up to a year away from legal marriage equality here.

    Kudos on the judge's firm analysis, and to the plaintiffs who prevailed in today's ruling.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      I wonder how many attorney hours he is wasting on these cases….. He's got Boulder, he's got Adams, they're going to state Supreme Court, he's in federal court with Mari Newman's case, and that will eventually go to the 10th Circuit (where the handwriting is already on the wall).  Mark Ferrandino has called for Suthers to stop wasting time and money on defending the indefensible.  Maybe if there is a special session, the legislature should prohibit any more money (and attorney time in AG's Office) from being wasted on this stuff……

  3. FrankUnderwood says:

    P.S.   Has either Both Ways or Gardner commented on any of this yet? 

    • JBJK16 says:

      Or Coffman or any of the Constitutional candidates, sheriff or other.

      they should all comment on it.  It's the ideal situation to reject government intrusion and sanctioned discrimination and obstruction for a fundamental right.

      Any adult person not married, should be free to marry any other adult person not currently married and no one, including the government, has standing to interfere.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        Maybe while they're giving us their opinion on this decision the sheriffs and Constitutional candidates can also reveal their position on the "terrorism" of a possible small "d" vote on fracking issues?

  4. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Chickenshit ruling.
    Uncon + stay = status quo
    I say: let the weddings begin

    • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

      Mr. Barnes-I agree. There's no reason why the nuptials should not now begin.This was a judge looking for an out. The unconstitutional ruling only makes legal sense. The stay was pandering of the worst sort an attempt to find cover from the skullparts of conservatives who will now only go semi-ballistic.

      • I highly disagree with this, and if you read the judge's reasoning you'll see why.

        There is a presumption that any ruling overturning a legislative (or, even more so, a voter-passed initiative) creates harm to the state and the people of the state. The judge – while he had leeway in his decision – followed the most sound course of reasoning available to him, and shut off a potential avenue for anti-equality forces to attack his decision.

    • SocialisticatProgressicat says:

      I guess that's one interpretation.  The judge issued the stay because it was plainly clear to him that there is still another level of adjudication to occur (the USSC or, in this particular case the state SC), other courts issuing similar rulings have stayed theirs in anticipation of a hearing by the USSC, and he believes that waiting to become married causes less harm than than starting up those marriages in an uncertain legal environment where state laws are not designed to support same sex couples and marriages granted could just as easily be dissolved. (His reasoning for the stay can be found in point 4, starting on page 44)

    • HarleyHarley says:

      I totally concur—if you are going to make a decision–make it and then NOT put it on the back burner for someone else to decide about it.

  5. FrankUnderwood says:

    I suspect the other shoe will drop today in the Boulder case……

    • SocialisticatProgressicat says:

      Forgot to post a link to the decision.

      1) The state didn't meet the burden for a TRO (temporary restraining order– preventing the clerk from taking a particular action)

      2) The clerk has to report the marriages, like others (the clerk asked for this)

      3) The clerk needs to inform folks that their status is likely contingent on future court action.

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