Denver clerk begins handing out marriage licenses to gay couples

DENVER (AP) — The Denver, Colorado, County clerk has begun handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the state's largest city.

Debra Johnson announced her decision shortly after a judge ruled that Johnson's counterpart in Boulder could continue to grant marriage licenses to gay couples despite the state's same-sex marriage ban.

Judge Andrew Hartman said the Boulder County clerk could ignore a stay on an appellate ruling that found states cannot set gender requirements for marriage.

Samantha Getman and Victoria Quintana were the first to arrive at Denver City Hall for a marriage license Thursday. Getman says they wanted to get a license before another ruling stopped them.

State Attorney General John Suthers says the issue "cries out for resolution by the state's highest court."

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