Lesbian Couple Sues for Marriage Equality in Colorado

By Daniel Reynolds

Originally published on Advocate.com November 01 2013 11:26 AM ET

A lesbian couple is suing the state of Colorado for the right to marry.

The couple, Margaret Burd and Dr. Rebecca Brinkman applied for a marriage license at the Adams County Clerk and Recorder’s office, where they were given an application for a civil union instead. They refused the latter application, and filed suit Wednesday at the Adams County District Court for the right to wed, their attorney, Ralph Ogden, told Denver's ABC News affilate.

"They rejected this offer because civil unions are more akin to a business relationship than to the expression of dignity, love, respect, and commitment that married heterosexual couples enjoy because they are married," Ogden stated.

In March 2013, the governor of Colorado signed a bill that allowed civil unions for same-sex couples. It went into effect May 1. However, a 2006 amendment to the state’s constitution restricts marriage to “one man and one woman.”

The couple’s attorney is arguing that this restriction denies same-sex couple essential rights and access to federal benefits, which were guaranteed to married gays and lesbians after the Supreme Court’s decision in the United States v. Windsor.

"Because Colorado refuses to allow same gender marriages, these federal benefits are denied to members of a civil union," Ogden said.