Gay marriage in Colorado to be made legal; couples call it ‘thrilling’

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Photo: Lesbian couple in Pueblo issued marriage licenseUpdated: 4:30 p.m.

After years of battles in county clerks' offices, the ballot box, and ultimately, the court room, there's a final answer on gay marriage in Colorado.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied the appeal of five states seeking to ban same-sex marriage. One of the dominoes that will soon fall is Colorado's gay marriage ban.

For some same-sex couples in the state, it's been an tumultuous ride.

“I am shaking with emotion,” says Kate Burns, who's part of a federal lawsuit against Colorado's gay marriage ban.

Standing with other plaintiffs on the steps of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in downtown Denver on Monday, Mark Thrun said the formal recognition of his relationship is "huge."

“It’s so meaningful for families like ours. We’ve always known that our relationship is equal," Thrun says. "We love each other no differently than two straight people would love each other. We love our kids no differently. So to have sort of formal acknowledgement that our relationship is the same, by the highest court in the land, even if it’s a non-decision, is just thrilling."

Complicated legal puzzle

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday rejected appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, effectively making gay marriage legal in 11 states where it had been banned. The Utah case, argued in the 10th Circuit, applies to Colorado.

In June, the 10th Circuit struck down Utah's gay marriage ban but put the ruling on hold. Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples later that day, citing the 10th Circuit ruling. Denver and Pueblo counties joined in, before the Colorado Supreme Court ordered the counties to stop.