Colorado Lesbian Couple Files Suit to Overturn State’s Marriage Ban

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Kate Burns and Sheila Schroeder of Englewood, Colorado, who were arrested last year on September 24 (above) after demanding a marriage license and holding a sit-in at the Denver Clerk’s office, have filed suit in Denver County court, asking it to throw out the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

According to the Rocky Mountain News, “Their attorney, Mari Newman, said the case reminds her of laws that used to outlaw interracial marriage but were declared unconstitutional. ‘The right to marriage is fundamental,’ Newman said. ‘The government can’t be telling us who we can and cannot marry.’ The lawsuit claims Amendment 43, which 56 percent of voters approved in 2006, is unconstitutional on several grounds, including it was ‘religiously motivated’ and has the effect ‘of establishing religion.’ Rep. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, who helped put the amendment on the ballot, laughed at that argument. ‘If that’s the case,’ he said, ‘we can throw out most of our laws because most are based on some moral perspective, and you could argue that is a religious foundation. We could even throw in the Declaration of Independence on those grounds: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights . . . Creator.’ He called the suit frivolous.”

Burns and Schroeder are scheduled to appear in court on the trespassing charge for their sit-in this week.

Women sue over marriage law [rocky mountain news]
Couple asks court to overturn gay marriage ban [denver post]