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Federal judge rules against Colorado's same-sex marriage ban

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A federal judge on Wednesday struck down Colorado's ban on same-sex marriages, but the ruling will not allow the state's same-sex couples to marry for now.

US District Judge Raymond P. Moore's decision said the Constitution's Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses protect same-sex marriage rights. Following the Supreme Court's 2013 decision to strike down the federal ban on same-sex marriages, other cases on the issue have used the same rationale to uphold LGBT rights.

Colorado's same-sex couples will not be able to get married just yet, because Moore put his decision on hold until August 25 as it works through the appeals process.

The decision comes after a state judge, separate from the federal judicial system, declared Colorado's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. In his ruling, Colorado District Judge C. Scott Crabtree cited Colorado's civil unions as evidence of discrimination against same-sex couples, because the state's civil union law stops short of giving same-sex couples full marriage rights. That decision was put on hold pending appeal.

The decision continues a chain of victory for same-sex marriage rights since the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling. Most recently, the 10th Circuit Court, which oversees Colorado and other states, rejected same-sex marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah, and lower courts struck down same-sex marriage bans in Florida, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

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