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Colorado Offers Boulder County A Deal In Gay Marriage Battle

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DENVER (CBS4) - After a week of wrangling between Boulder County and the state over gay marriage licenses, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers offered a compromise: If the county halts issuing licenses by noon Tuesday, he will petition the state supreme court to seek “expeditious resolution to the question of authority” over who can issue licenses.

Meanwhile, six couples are expected to sue Suthers, Gov. John Hickenlooper and area counties’ clerk and recorder offices in federal court on Tuesday to pressure courts to hear their side.

After the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that Utah’s prohibition of same-sex marriages was unconstitutional, Boulder County’s clerk and recorder, Hillary Hall, began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples the same day.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers initially said those licenses were invalid because the court stayed its decision until a final ruling is made, likely by the U.S. Supreme Court. Gay marriage is therefore illegal in Colorado, he said.

“You can’t have it both ways,” he told CBS4 last week. “The ruling does impact all the states in the 10th circuit, but so does the second part of the order, which is a stay of that ruling. (Hall is) really acting on her own.”

On Monday, he ordered Hall to stop. He didn’t say what would happen if she continued.

Mark Thrun, a plaintiff in the expected suit, said he and his partner of 13 years, Geoffrey Bateman, are suing “to put the pressure on the courts to hear these cases, to hear about the injustice that occurs in order to keep moving that dialogue forward.”

Mark Thrun, right, and Geoffrey Bateman are expected to be plaintiffs in a lawsuit. (credit: CBS)

Mark Thrun, right, and Geoffrey Bateman are expected to be plaintiffs in a lawsuit. (credit: CBS)

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