Colorado county is warned about issuing marriage licenses to gay couples

June 26
COLORADO
Same-sex nuptials
might not be valid

Boulder County defiantly issued marriage licenses to gay couples Thursday, emboldened by an appeals court’s landmark same-sex marriage ruling, although the state attorney general warned that such nuptials would not be valid.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver ruled that Utah cannot ban same-sex couples from marrying. The appeals court, whose decisions apply to six states, including Colorado, put its ruling on hold in anticipation of a legal challenge by Utah. Yet within hours of the verdict, the Boulder County clerk’s office began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

Meanwhile in Missouri, state Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit Thursday against a St. Louis County official who had started granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples in violation of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

— Reuters

MASSACHUSETTS
Minimum wage of $11
may be highest in U.S.

Gov. Deval Patrick (D) on Thursday signed into law a measure that raises the minimum wage to the highest amount of any state — $11 per hour — by 2017.

The move comes as Democrats nationally are trying to make the minimum wage a key issue ahead of midterm congressional elections in November.

The law will raise the state’s minimum wage in stages from the current $8 per hour. It follows similar moves by neighboring Connecticut and Vermont.

The first minimum wage increase in Massachusetts since 2008 is expected to benefit about 500,000 workers statewide, said state Rep. Thomas P. Conroy (D).

The law does not include provisions to tie minimum wage increases after 2017 to inflation, which Patrick had sought.

— Reuters

ARKANSAS
GOP official resigns
after Clinton remark

An Arkansas Republican official has resigned after telling a magazine that former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton would “probably get shot” if she returned to the state where she was a lawyer and served as first lady, officials said Thursday.

Clinton, seen as the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, is set to return to Arkansas on Friday to sign copies of her new memoir. Her husband was the state’s governor for 12 years before winning the White House in 1992.

Johnny Rhoda, who was chairman of the Republican Party in the 2nd Congressional District in Arkansas, was quoted in U.S. News this week as saying Clinton could not expect much political support in the state if she ran for president. “She’d probably get shot at the state line,” Rhoda, an insurance agent and the pastor of a small congregation about 70 miles north of the state capital, Little Rock, was quoted as saying by the magazine.

Rhoda said that his remarks were taken out of context and were not intended as threatening.

Rep. Tim Griffin (R), who represents the district, labeled Rhoda’s comments offensive and inappropriate and called for his resignation. Doyle Webb, chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party, announced Rhoda’s resignation in a statement to TV station KARK on Thursday. Rhoda was not immediately available for comment.

— Reuters

Judge upholds Colo. gun laws: A federal judge on Thursday upheld two Colorado gun laws that were introduced in the wake of deadly shootings in a Denver suburb and in Connecticut, dismissing a lawsuit brought by sheriffs, gun shops and shooting ranges. The laws, passed in 2013, banned ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds and required background checks for all private gun sales and transfers.

Senator’s son pleads guilty to burglary: The son of Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) on Thursday pleaded guilty to burglary and breaking into cars under a
deferred-judgment agreement that could result in his case eventually being dismissed. Jedediah Fox-Udall, 27, was sentenced to four years of supervision. He was arrested in January after being accused of breaking into a home and cars in the semi-rural community of Eldorado Springs, where his family lives. At the time, investigators said he admitted using heroin in the previous two days.

— From news services

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