Colorado's attorney general has ordered all 64 county clerks in the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, following the Supreme Court's decision not to hear any of the appeals regarding several states' marriage bans.
Colorado attorney general John Suthers issued the statement to the county clerks shortly after the Supreme Court's announcement Monday. Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz said his office would issue the licenses to same-sex couples immediately, while clerks in Denver and Boulder were waiting for final clearance to do so, The Denver Post reports.
"By choosing not to take up the matter, the court has left the 10th Circuit ruling in place," Suthers said in a statement. "Once the formalities are resolved clerks across the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to all same-sex couples."
In deciding not to hear these cases, the Supreme Court let stand appellate court rulings from the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits. This means lower court judges and other public officials in the states in those circuits must abide by the appeals court rulings striking down marriage bans. Earlier this year when the Tenth Circuit ruled in favor of marriage equality in Utah, Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall in Colorado (also part of the Tenth Circuit) decided that the ruling gave her clearance to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. As an elected official sworn to uphold the state and U.S. Constitution, Hall said it was her duty to follow the law and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples who want them.