Judge Rejects “Procreation” Argument in Colorado Marriage Equality Ruling

colorado_flagYesterday, Colorado became the latest in a string of states to rule in favor of marriage equality. As in every other state that has seen a marriage equality ruling lately, parents were among the plaintiffs, and once again, the judge rejected the argument that marriage should be limited to different-sex couples because they can procreate.

State district court judge C. Scott Crabtree (who was appointed by a Republican governor) ruled that “the Marriage Bans violate plaintiffs due process and equal protection guarantees under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” The state’s claim that it has an interest in “encouraging procreation and marital commitment for the benefit of the children . . . utterly ignores those who are permitted to marry without the ability or desire to procreate. It is merely a pretext for discriminating against same-sex marriages.”

Furthermore, the state’s civil unions, rather than providing a solution, are “further evidence of discrimination against same-sex couples.” (Having said that, they were an important step along the way to full marriage equality, and we shouldn’t forget the two-mom couples and professional basketball stars with two moms (among others) who helped make them happen.)

Judge Crabtree issued a stay on his ruling pending appeal, however, seeking to avoid the “instability and uncertainty” that would result if same-sex couples were allowed to marry while an appeal was pending. Based on the situation for married same-sex couples in Indiana right now, I have to admit he has a point, much as I would love to see couples in the Rocky Mountain State start to wed. Let’s hope the appeals process is swift.

Speaking of swift appeals, the other bit of marriage news yesterday was that Utah announced it would seek a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in its marriage case, skipping review by the full U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal. As Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said, “The Supreme Court should take this case and swiftly move to end marriage discrimination across the country. Every day of delay is a day of hardship for couples and their loved ones wrongly denied the freedom to marry and respect for their families.”

What he said.