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Judge rules Colorado ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional

[JURIST] A federal judge for the US District Court for the District of Colorado [official website] on Wednesday struck down Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] as unconstitutional, but he elected to stay his ruling until August 25 pending an appeal to a higher court. Wednesday's ruling found in favor of six same-sex couples [Reuters report] who brought a challenge to the 2006 marriage amendment [Amendment 43, PDF] in the state that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. An appeal is already filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website], where a pair of rulings [NPR report] upheld the right to marry for same-sex couples in Utah and Oklahoma in the previous month. The office of the Colorado Attorney General, led by John Suthers [official website], filed an appeal one hour after Wednesday's ruling was finalized, as he continues to defend his position [Denver Post report] against the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in the state.

Since the Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act [text] last year, many federal courts have declared state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. Last week the US Supreme Court issued a stay [order, PDF] on the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in Utah, pending final disposition of the appeal by the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Also last week the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld [opinion, PDF] a ruling striking down Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban. Earlier this month a state court in Colorado struck down [opinion, PDF] the state's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional but immediately stayed his ruling.

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