Friday, June 27, 2014

Update: Boulder County - Doing what is right and just against institutionalized bigotry

Boulder, aka,  The People's Republic of Boulder (the name apropos once again) is standing firm.

The Court's ruling states that Utah's ban on gay marriage violates the Constitutional guaranty of equal protection and due process; that gay couples have a fundamental right to marry. The territorial jurisdiction of the Tenth Circuit includes the six states of Oklahoma, Kansas (I am sure Brownbeck, et al, are apoplectic), New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, (plus those portions of the Yellowstone National Park extending into Montana and Idaho).

That "Stay" doesn't matter to Boulder County's Clerk and Recorder.  She announced Wednesday afternoon, they were open for business and Boulder County would be issuing licenses to same-sex couples starting immediately.  Within that last hour of business, two such licenses were issued....

Michelle and Wendy Alfredsen with their son Oliver kiss after getting their marriage license 
at the Boulder County Clerk and Recorders Office in Boulder Wednesday June 25, 2014. 
Photo by Paul Aiken / The Daily Camera

In a statement Wednesday, Ms. Hall stated, "I believe the opinion is clear and it is important to act immediately," Hall wrote in a statement handed out at the clerk's office. "... Unless a court in Colorado or the U.S. Supreme Court tells me otherwise, I plan to begin issuing licenses."

Angie Holley, left, and Bylo Farmer kiss after receiving their marriage license
at the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's Office
in Boulder on Thursday, June 26, 2014. (
Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera)

On Thursday, more were issued, including one to Colorado State Senator Jessie Ulibarri, District 21 in Adams County, and his Life Partner, Luis Trujillo...

Attorney General John Suthers says they are invalid.

From Reuters:
A left-leaning Colorado county defiantly issued marriage licenses to gay couples on Thursday, emboldened by a landmark decision by a regional appeals court that found in favor of same-sex marriage in neighboring Utah.

The move appeared to set up a showdown between the elected clerk of Boulder County and Colorado's Republican attorney general, who warned that such nuptials would be invalid in the absence of a final judicial resolution....

.....At issue now in Boulder is whether the stay of the 10th Circuit's ruling applies to all the region's states, or only Utah.
Should the state attorney general take action to halt the marriages, he could be in for a tough fight, according to Jennifer Hendricks, a family and constitutional law expert at the University of Colorado.

She said it was hard to know if a judge could be found who would rule against a decision of the 10th Circuit that is likely headed to the Supreme Court, even with that decision stayed.
"There'd certainly be lots of questions about Colorado state law in terms of who has authority to do things like issue marriage licenses," she said.

John Suthers remains thoroughly stuck on the wrong side of history...

Today, Boulder County is still issuing licenses in Boulder and, now, in Longmont and in Lafayette. As for Denver County, home of the City of Denver and the State Capitol, according to The Daily Camera:

William Porter, a spokesman from the office of Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson, was on hand Thursday to help "show solidarity." He said his office will not be issuing licenses to same-sex couples for the time being but intends to do so "as soon as legally possible."
"Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson stands with the 10th Circuit Court, with Boulder County and with Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall," Porter said. "We look forward to the day we can issue marriage licenses to all loving couples in Colorado."

In other words, Denver County remains safely sitting on the fence cheering on those who are standing for true justice and freedom.

The question of whether or not marriage between same-sex couples is legal should be moot - The Constitution makes no stipulation as to who can and cannot marry.  

Any distinction made between straight and gay, straight and lesbian, straight and bi-sexual, or transgender, or any other orientation, doesn't even exist in that document.  The only distinction is solely in the limited mind set of individuals who cannot grow out of their own willful ignorance and fear and the inadequate attempts to limit real freedom, human rights and civil rights by pushing Constitutionally abhorrent laws into place in direct violation of that Constitution;  A distinction made only because of the institutionalized bigotry perpetuated by those abhorrent laws put into place in direct violation of that Constitution.

This nation either believes in its Constitution or it doesn't - there are no gray areas.  If we truly believe that the Constitution is sacrosanct, then same-sex marriage is already the law of the land.

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