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Colorado's gay marriage ban subject of possible lawsuit

Colorado's Amendment 43 is the state's ban on same-sex marriage. It was approved by voters in 2006. It defines marriage as a "union between a man and a woman." Civil unions are allowed in Colorado as of last year, but many same-sex couples believe that they should have the right to marry.

Nine couples -- four gay couples and five lesbian couples -- have filed a lawsuit in Colorado's state court and hope to have the same results as similar cases filed in Virginia, Utah and New Mexico. Those lawsuits saw decisions by the courts that struck down state bans on same-sex marriage.

The lawsuit alleges that Amendment 43 is unconstitutional, because it "violates U.S. constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process." In addition, it claims that the law allowing civil unions does not grant same-sex couples the same legal status as opposite-sex couples.

The governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper and the city clerk of Denver have been named as defendants in the lawsuit. John Suthers, the state's Attorney General, has said that the ban on gay marriage would be defended by his office.

Currently, over 30 states still have bans on same-sex marriage, either by statute or constitutional amendment. Some states have both. There have been several decisions by federal courts that are in favor of same-sex marriage. Some feel that the U.S. Supreme Court may soon grant same-sex couples the right to marry, no matter what the states' laws may be.

Family law issues such as this one can be very complex. Those seeking more information on domestic partnerships, same-sex marriage and other similar issues may benefit from speak with a Colorado family law attorney.

Source: KDVR, "Same-sex couples challenge Colorado ban on gay marriage" Keith Coffman, Feb. 19, 2014

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