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Judge Strikes Down Colorado Gay Marriage Ban, Stays Ruling

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Image: Alexis Gallegos, Jamie Gallegos, Bea Gallegos, Randy Romero, Michael Ross
Alexis Gallegos, 9, points out details of the Pueblo County Courthouse's dome to her mothers Jamie and Bea as they wait in line with Randy Romero and Michael Ross for their marriage licenses in Pueblo, Colo., July 11, 2014. Technically, their state still does not recognize gay marriages. But that hasn't stopped hundreds of gay Coloradans from getting marriage licenses from two county clerks who argue they still have the legal right to provide them to loving couples. Julia Moss / The Colorado Springs Gazette via AP file

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A federal judge in Denver has declared Colorado's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, but he issued a temporary stay of the ruling until an appeals court hearing next month. Judge Raymond P. Moore's ruling Wednesday was in response to a lawsuit filed July 1 by six gay couples who asked the court for an injunction ordering that the state's ban no longer be enforced.

Colorado Republican Attorney General John Suthers and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper had requested a stay so the issue could eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court — though both agreed the state ban should be declared unconstitutional. The couples filed the lawsuit after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled against Utah's gay marriage ban but put the ruling on hold pending an appeal.

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