DENVER (AP) — Gay couples seeking to strike Colorado's same-sex marriage ban urged a federal judge Tuesday to overturn the law immediately and reject the state's request to stay a ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the matter.
U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore indicated that the injunction sought by gay couples declaring Colorado's law unconstitutional is certain to be granted. But he said what he's trying to decide is whether his ruling should be put on hold.
Colorado Republican Attorney General John Suthers is not opposing the injunction, but he wants it to be stayed until the nation's highest court decides the issue. However, the attorney for the gay couples told the judge repeatedly that "justice delayed is justice denied."
"Fundamental rights cannot be stayed," said Mari Newman, one of the attorneys filing suit on behalf of the six couples
The judge said he is going to issue a ruling Wednesday. A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs, without a stay, would open the door to allowing clerks statewide to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
But Michael Francisco, the assistant solicitor general arguing on behalf of Suthers' office, said they will continue to pursue a stay with a higher court if the judge denies it. Francisco noted there's legal precedent where stays have been issued when courts in other states have found same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional.
"The reason is that the stays are appropriate to preserve the status quo while the appellate courts hear these cases," he said.
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