Boulder County proclaims July 23 as ‘Clela Rorex Day’ to commemorate historic LGBTQ+ ally

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Courtesy of Chris Cleary
Clela Rorex, who issued the first same-sex marriage license in Colorado, died at the age of 78.

Boulder County commissioners declared July 23 as Clela Rorex Day in honor of the late county clerk and recorder.

Rorex etched her name in history when she became one of the first county clerks in the United States to issue same-sex marriage licenses. The historic moment came in March 1975, when two men from Colorado Springs sought a marriage license at the Boulder County Clerk’s Office. Rorex issued six same-sex marriage licenses during her tenure because the state' attorney general intervened.

She resigned from her post in 1977.

Rorex, a straight woman, never returned to politics, but remained an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. She became known for showing up to every Pride parade, volunteering for LGBTQ+ services, and signing up to be a witness for as many same-sex courthouse marriages as possible. She died last month in hospice care in Longmont at the age of 78

The proclamation will be read aloud at Rorex’s memorial service on July 23, which would have been Rorex’s 79th birthday.