A District Court judge today struck down Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage, marking the 24th consecutive ruling in favor of the freedom to marry (with no rulings against) since June 2013. The ruling has been stayed for now, pending an appeal.
In the ruling, District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree explained how civil union – which Colorado has had in effect since 2013 – is a lesser, unequal form of family status that does not compare to marriage. He writes:
The fact that the State has created two classes of legally recognized relationships, marriages and civil unions, is compelling evidence they are not the same. If civil unions were truly the same as marriages, they would be called marriages and not civil unions. If they were the same, there would be no need for both of them. The fact that Colorado denies same gender couples the same right to apply for federal benefits that it grants to opposite gender couples is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
In other marriage equality news, Utah’s Attorney General will be filing an appeal of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recent decision to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Attorney General Sean Reyes will be filing the appeal directly to the US Supreme Court rather than asking for a review by the entire 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court is under no obligation to hear the appeal.