Eight gay couples have tied the knot in La Plata County since same-sex marriage became legal last week in Colorado.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals on same-sex marriage bans in five states Oct. 6, opening the door statewide for gay couples to receive marriage licenses.
So far, the eight couples have officially filed their licenses with the county and are legally married, according to the La Plata County Clerk & Recorder Office. Couples do have the option of taking a marriage licenses with them and returning them to the county at later date.
Among the happy newlyweds are Kimberly Davis and Vanessa Porras, who were the sixth couple to receive a license.
“We just wanted to call each other wife,” Davis said.
The two have been a couple for about a year and had thought about getting married previously while visiting New Mexico. But they decided to wait until their families could be present. Friday was their big day, and 6th Judicial District Judge Greg Lyman presided over the short ceremony.
“It’s empowering. It feels good,” Davis said about getting married.
Lyman was on-call Friday, and while he has been marrying people for 18 years, he said he was caught a bit off-guard.
“I was preparing for just a regular old wedding and in came Vanessa and Kimberly,” he said.
He said it was fun to be the one who married them, partly because they brought a large boisterous group along.
Davis was surprised when same-sex marriage became legal rather abruptly in La Plata County on Tuesday. But she said she had faith it would eventually happen in Colorado because New Mexico already had legalized it.
“I think we’re all humans, and we deserve to be treated equally,” she said.
While Davis and Porras had their marriage officiated by a judge, couples in Colorado can also be married by magistrates or Native American tribal officials. Couples also have the option of marrying themselves without a witness.
In Montezuma County, Glynis Verrazzano and Sandra Culpepper, were the first gay couple to get a marriage license Thursday.
They have being together for 23 years.
“This is awesome. This is so cool,” Verrazzano said as she unfolded a paper that read “Marriage License State of Colorado.”
“This says it all right here,” she said.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Cortez Journal Staff Writer Shannon Livick contributed to this report.