|Born||July 23, 1943|
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
|Died||June 19, 2022 78) (aged|
Longmont, Colorado, U.S.
|Education|| University of Colorado |
University of Denver
|Known for||Issuing the first same-sex marriage license to a gay couple in the United States|
|Boulder County Clerk|
|Preceded by||Henry Putnam|
Clela Ann Rorex (July 23,1943 –June 19,2022) was an American county clerk who issued the first same-sex marriage license in the United States.Serving as the Boulder County Clerk,Rorex issued a marriage license to a gay couple in 1975 after receiving approval from the District Attorney.
Clela Rorex was born in Denver on July 23,1943,and raised in Steamboat Springs,Colorado.She was adopted at an early age by Ruby and Cecil Rorex who was the county clerk for Routt County,Colorado,for 30 years.
Rorex attended the University of Colorado on a Methodist scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree.She later earned a second degree in legal administration from the University of Denver. She then married a naval officer and spent three years with him while he was stationed at Guantanamo Bay,Cuba,before returning to Boulder.
After working a few summers in her father's office,Rorex decided to run for county clerk of Boulder County,Colorado,when the incumbent,Henry Putnam,announced his retirement. She decided to run after attending a meeting in which members of the Democratic Party stated that they "needed a man" to run against the female Republican candidate.Rorex shared her frustrations over hearing this with women in a feminist group she was a member of,and decided that she would run for clerk. She was elected and took office in 1975 at age 31. Henry Putnam would not vacate the office and was removed by the sheriff's office.
Rorex had been clerk for three months when two men,Dave McCord and Dave Zamora,came to the clerk's office to apply for a marriage license. They had originally applied in Colorado Springs,where they were told to go to Boulder;El Paso County did not do "that type of thing."
After Rorex inquired into the legality of issuing the license,District Attorney Alex Hunter and first assistant DA Bill Wisewrote an opinion stating that Colorado law did not specify whether marriage must be between a man and a woman. Rorex was told it was within her legal right to decide if she wanted to issue the license or not. Rorex issued the license on March 26,1975. She issued five more same-sex marriage licenses in Boulder before the Colorado Attorney General ordered her to stop. She received hate mail and angry phone calls.
The Boulder County Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in part because of the marriage licenses Rorex issued.In June 2018,Boulder replaced an image of Roswell "Ross" Howard and his horse,Dolly,with a photo of Rorex. After Rorex issued same-sex marriage licenses,Howard showed up at the courthouse with Dolly and asked for a license to marry his horse. Rorex said she declined his request on the basis that his eight-year-old horse was underage,and could not marry without written consent from her parents.
Rorex resigned from office about two and a half years into her term. She married and moved to California.Rorex never held elected office again.
Rorex returned to Colorado after her marriage and obtained a degree in legal administration from the University of Denver.She worked as a legal administrator for the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder for 18 years. After retiring around 2011,she spoke at public schools on panels composed of people of different gender identities. She considered herself an "ally for gay rights and marriage equality".
Rorex was married and divorced three times,and had three children.She died on June 19,2022,at the age of 78 at a hospice care facility in Longmont,Colorado,from complications of an infection following surgery.
This is a list of notable events in the history of LGBT rights that took place in the year 1975.
This article contains a timeline of significant events regarding same-sex marriage and legal recognition of same-sex couples worldwide. It begins with the history of same-sex unions during ancient times,which consisted of unions ranging from informal and temporary relationships to highly ritualized unions,and continues to modern-day state-recognized same-sex marriage. Events concerning same-sex marriages becoming legal in a country or in a country's state are listed in bold.
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U.S. state of Florida since January 6,2015,as a result of Brenner v. Scott,the lead case on the issue. In this case,a U.S. district court ruled the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional on August 21,2014. The order was stayed temporarily;state attempts at extending the stay failed,with the U.S. Supreme Court denying further extension on December 19,2014.
Same-sex marriage in Wisconsin has been legally recognized since October 6,2014,upon the resolution of a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. On October 6,the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of an appellate court ruling in Wolf v. Walker that had found Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The appellate court issued its order prohibiting enforcement of the state's ban on same-sex marriage the next day and Wisconsin counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately. Previously,from August 2009 to April 2018,Wisconsin had recognized domestic partnerships which afforded limited legal rights to same-sex couples.
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U.S. state of Illinois since a law signed by Governor Pat Quinn on November 20,2013 took effect on June 1,2014. Same-sex marriage legislation was introduced in successive sessions of the General Assembly from 2007 to 2013. It passed the Senate in February 2013,but legislators delayed a vote in the House while lobbying for votes until November 5,2013,when the House passed an amended version of the bill by a narrow margin. The Senate quickly approved the amended bill and Governor Quinn signed it into law on November 20. The law went into effect (statewide) on June 1,2014,with same-sex couples able to apply for marriage licenses and then marry after the mandatory one-day waiting period.
Same-sex marriage became legally recognized statewide in the U.S. state of New Mexico through a ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court on December 19,2013,requiring all county clerks to issue marriage licenses to qualified couples seeking marriage regardless of gender. Until then,same-sex couples could only obtain marriage licenses in certain counties of the state. Eight of the 33 counties,covering 58% of the state's population,had begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in August and September 2013. New Mexico's marriage statute is not specific as to gender. It is the only state lacking a state statute or constitutional provision explicitly addressing same-sex marriage. Lacking a state law or judicial ruling concerning same-sex marriage prior to December 19,2013,policy for the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples was determined at the county level at the discretion of local issuing authorities i.e.,some counties recognized same-sex marriage and issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples,while others did not. Despite the ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court allowing same-sex marriages in the state,some of New Mexico's Native American tribes continue to prohibit same-sex marriages within their jurisdictions and do not recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. The San Ildefonso Pueblo's tribal code recognizes state law to a degree,but its tribal marriage certificates require licenses be issues to an unmarried male and unmarried female.
Same-sex marriage in Colorado has been legally recognized since October 7,2014. Colorado's state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was struck down in state district court on July 9,2014,and by the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on July 23,2014. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals had already made similar rulings with respect to such bans in Utah on June 25 and Oklahoma on July 18,which are binding precedents on courts in Colorado.
Lesbian,gay,bisexual,and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Colorado enjoy the same rights as non-LGBT people. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Colorado since 1972. Same-sex marriage has been recognized since October 2014,and the state enacted civil unions in 2013,which provide some of the rights and benefits of marriage. State law also prohibits discrimination on account of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment,housing and public accommodations and the use of conversion therapy on minors. In July 2020,Colorado became the 11th US state to abolish the gay panic defense.
This article contains a timeline of significant events regarding same-sex marriage in the United States. On June 26,2015,the landmark US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges effectively ended restrictions on same-sex marriage in the United States.
Richard Frank Adams was a Filipino-American gay rights activist. After his 1975 same-sex marriage was declared invalid for the purposes of granting his husband permanent residency,Adams filed the federal lawsuit Adams v. Howerton. This was the first lawsuit in America to seek recognition of a same-sex marriage by the federal government.
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of Kentucky is legal under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. The decision,which struck down Kentucky's statutory and constitutional bans on same-sex marriages,was handed down on June 26,2015,and Governor Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway announced almost immediately that the court's order would be implemented.
Brinkman v. Long,and its companion case,McDaniel-Miccio v. Hickenlooper,are the lead state court cases on same-sex marriage in Colorado. Here,a Colorado district court found on July 9,2014,that the state's same-sex marriage ban violates same-sex couples' guarantees of equal protection and due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Brinkman and McDaniel-Miccio have been appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court,where they were dismissed following the dismissal of similar petitions by the U.S. Supreme Court on October 6,2014.
On June 25,2014,the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling striking down Utah's same-sex marriage ban,setting a precedent in other states under the Tenth Circuit's jurisdiction. In addition,on July 18,2014,the same panel of the Tenth Circuit invalidated Oklahoma's ban as well. Both Circuit Court rulings were stayed pending certiorari review from the Supreme Court of the United States. The Tenth Circuit consists of Colorado,Kansas,New Mexico,Oklahoma,Utah,and Wyoming. New Mexico is the only state in the circuit where same-sex marriage was legal prior to the decisions. Utah is the only state in the circuit where same-sex marriage was temporarily legal after its ban was struck down. A ruling requiring the state of Utah to recognize same-sex marriages performed within the state was temporarily stayed and was originally set to expire on July 21,2014,at 8:00 a.m. The Supreme Court of the United States extended the stay on July 18,2014.
Colorado ex rel. Suthers v. Hall was a Colorado District Court case dealing with the use of civil disobedience,specifically by issuing same-sex marriage licenses to couples despite the stay of court rulings supporting them. The Court found that a county clerk was indeed allowed to engage in this practice did not meet its burden to stay the clerk from doing so. The Colorado Court of Appeals agreed;the Colorado Supreme Court has stayed the clerk's actions while it waits to hear the case after October 20,2014.
The history of same-sex marriage in the United States dates from the early 1970s,when the first lawsuits seeking legal recognition of same-sex relationships brought the question of civil marriage rights and benefits for same-sex couples to public attention though they proved unsuccessful. However marriage wasn't a request for lgbtq movement until the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Washington (1987). The subject became increasingly prominent in U.S. politics following the 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court decision in Baehr v. Miike that suggested the possibility that the state's prohibition might be unconstitutional. That decision was met by actions at both the federal and state level to restrict marriage to male-female couples,notably the enactment at the federal level of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Kimberly Jean Davis is a former county clerk for Rowan County,Kentucky,who gained international attention in August 2015 when she defied a U.S. federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She was defeated by Democratic challenger Elwood Caudill Jr. in the November 6,2018,election and vacated the office on January 7,2019.
Miller v. Davis is a federal lawsuit in the United States regarding the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. After the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide on June 26,2015,the county clerk of Rowan County,Kentucky,Kim Davis,refused to issue marriage licenses to any couple to avoid issuing them to same-sex couples,citing her religious beliefs. She also refused to allow her deputies to issue the licenses,as they would still bear her title and name.
Limited Partnership is a 2014 American documentary film directed by Thomas G. Miller. Through archival footage and modern interviews,it covers a 40-year marriage between two gay rights activists in the US. It premiered at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival and aired on Independent Lens,a PBS program,in June 2015.
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Hillary Hall is an American politician. She was the Boulder County,Colorado clerk and recorder from 2006 to 2018. She issued hundreds of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2014 before the Colorado Supreme Court ordered her to stop.