A gay couple who was denied a marriage license in Denver County Friday says it is an important lesson in civil rights for their sons.
Randy Burgess and Steve Grauberger arrived at the clerk and recorders office less than an hour after the state Supreme Court ordered the county to stop issuing the licenses as long as Colorado's ban on gay marriage is still in place.
Denver issued 108 marriage licenses before the Court ordered them to stop.
“(Our kids) still get to figure out this is discrimination that’s going on here,” Randy Burgess told sister station KCNC. “So I think it’s fantastic they get to learn that that’s what’s going on.”
The ruling was in response to an appeal from Attorney General John Suthers, who had been unable to persuade lower courts to stop clerks in Boulder and Denver from distributing the documents. The ruling is specifically aimed at Denver and Adams counties because they were part of the same lawsuit.
Boulder and Pueblo counties have both said they will keep handing out the licenses. [Note: A few days after this report, Pueblo County "reluctantly" stopped handing out licenses.]
"My original decision was based on the 20, now 24 rulings all saying that our law in the state of Colorado is unconstitutional, so that's what my original decision was based on," Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz told 11 News.
Gay marriages began in June after a Denver-based federal appeals court ruled that states couldn't ban gay marriage. But the court stayed that ruling pending appeal.
Suthers is also asking the state Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of Colorado's gay marriage ban. A lower court judge found that law unconstitutional but also stayed his ruling until the high court reviewed it.