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El Paso County not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - El Paso County isn't issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Boulder, Denver and Pueblo county clerks have been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But a spokesperson for the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office said it isn't.

"As long as it's still technically illegal for same-sex couples to get married, we in El Paso county won't be issuing any sort of marriage licenses," Ryan Parsell said.

Colorado voters approved a same-sex marriage ban in 2006. This week, a judge ruled that the ban is unconstitutional, but the ruling was put on hold, pending an appeal. Parsell said the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office is sticking to the law.

"Whatever the law is in the state, we administer that," he said. "It doesn't matter what our opinion on that law is. So once a law is changed, once it's in effect, we go from there and we uphold it."

Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director of Public Policy at Focus on the Family, said clerks must uphold the law. She disagrees with the actions taking place in Boulder, Denver and Pueblo counties.

"It is disappointing to see this lawlessness spreading," she said in an email. "County clerks who took an oath to uphold the law are now violating it.  Since when do county clerks get to decide the law, or define marriage in a state?  This is legal anarchy."

Parsell said the office will uphold the state law, whether it remains or changes.

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