Colorado Same-Sex Couples Challenge Marriage Ban in Court

| by Allison Geller

Nine same-sex couples in Colorado are fighting for their right to marry with a lawsuit to overturn the state’s 2006 constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.

The couples brought the suit to the Denver District Court Wednesday, according to the Denver Post.

"Colorado law creates two classes of citizens: those free to marry the person they love, and those denied that fundamental right," the suit reads. "Same-sex couples in Colorado are relegated to a second-class level of citizenship that denies their relationships the full panoply of rights enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples."

Four of the plaintiff couples have legally married in other states, but their marriages are not recognized in Colorado. Four of the couples have children.

"Even same-sex couples who have been married in other states are stripped of their marital status when they enter the state of Colorado," the suit reads.

The suit cited Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper as a defendant.

"As a matter of constitutional law, we appreciate that the courts will take it up," Hickenlooper said in a statement. "On the underlying question of equal rights, we believe Colorado made a step forward when we passed bipartisan civil unions legislation last year."

In 2013, Colorado passed the Civil Union Act, granting gay couples the right to join in a union similar to marriage, but without all the rights granted to heterosexual couples.

Advocates are hoping that the Denver court will follow behind Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Virginia in challenging the constitutionality of the state’s same-sex marriage ban. The state challenges have spurred hopes that the Supreme Court will take on the issue.

Sources: Denver Post, ABC, Reuters