Colorado Judge Becomes 16th Judge To Strike Down A State’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree on Wednesday struck down Colorado’s 2006 voter-approved ban because it violates state and federal constitutions. The ruling was immediately put on hold pending an appeal.

Crabtree is now the 16th judge to strike down a state’s gay marriage ban since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that the federal government has to recognize gay marriages in the states, according to the AP.

“We are ecstatic. There is much cheering in our house,” said plaintiff Sandra Abbott. She and her partner, Amy Smart, were one of the nine couples in the lawsuit. “We waited a long time for this ruling.”

“The Court holds that the Marriage Bans violate plaintiffs’ due process and equal protection guarantees under the Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution,” Crabtree said in his 49-page ruling.

“The existence of civil unions is further evidence of discrimination against same-sex couples and does not ameliorate the discriminatory effect of the Marriage Bans.”

“The final chapter of this debate will undoubtedly have to be written either in Denver, Colorado or Washington, D.C.,” the judge wrote. “While the striking down of laws banning same-sex marriages has been progressing at a rapid rate, it will take time for this issue to be finally resolved.”

“I am thrilled that Judge Crabtree has recognized that the Colorado ban on same sex marriage is a violation of due process and equal protection guarantees under the Fourteenth Amendment,” said gay Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.). “More than that, he has recognized, as many of his peers across the country have, that marriage should be an institution of love and commitment, not prohibition and discrimination. I look forward to his ruling being upheld by the higher courts, and am confident marriage equality in Colorado is within sight.”