Nation roundup for July 19
Top Colo. court halts Denver gay marriages
DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Denver County clerk to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples while the state’s ban against the unions remains in place.
The two-page ruling noted that a judge who earlier this month ruled the ban was unconstitutional put his decision on hold until it was appealed, meaning the definition of marriage approved by Colorado voters in 2006, as between one man and one woman, remains active.
Denver Clerk &Recorder Debra Johnson is one of three county clerks in Colorado who began issuing licenses to same-sex couples recently after a string of legal victories for gay marriage in the state. On Friday she tweeted: “Disappointed, but respect ruling.”
The decision may not stop two other county clerks from continuing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, or provide the sort of statewide certainty that Attorney General John Suthers sought when he asked the top court for an emergency order. Several other county clerks also asked the high court for guidance on whether they can recognize gay marriages now.
The court’s decision only named Johnson and a clerk in another county who hasn’t issued licenses because they were part of the lawsuit on the constitutionality of the state ban. Suthers is also appealing that ruling to the state Supreme Court, a process that will take months.
Federal court tosses Okla. gay marriage ban
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Oklahoma must allow gay couples to wed, prompting a fast, angry response from leaders of a state that has vehemently fought policy changes brought on from outside its borders.
A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a federal judge’s ruling striking down Oklahoma’s gay marriage ban, which had been approved by more than 75 percent of voters in 2004. Friday’s decision marks the second time the federal appeals court has found the U.S. Constitution protects same-sex marriage.
The court put its 2-1 ruling on hold pending an appeal, meaning same-sex couples won’t be allowed to marry in Oklahoma for now.
“Today’s ruling is another instance of federal courts ignoring the will of the people and trampling on the right of states to govern themselves,” Gov. Mary Fallin said. “In this case, two judges have acted to overturn a law supported by Oklahomans.”
She said she hoped the decision was overturned and pledged to “fight back against our federal government when it seeks to ignore or change laws written and supported by Oklahomans.”
Secrets leaker Manning to start transformation
WASHINGTON (AP) — National security leaker Chelsea Manning can get initial treatment for a gender-identity condition from the military after the Bureau of Prisons rejected the Army’s request to accept her transfer from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to a civilian facility.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved the Army’s recommendation to keep the Army private in military custody and start a rudimentary level of gender treatment, a defense official said Thursday.
The initial gender treatments provided by the military could include allowing Manning to wear some female undergarments and also possibly provide some hormone treatments.
The decision raises a number of questions about what level of treatment Manning will be able to get and at what point she would have to be transferred from the all-male prison to a female facility.
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