DENVER (AP) -- A federal judge in Denver has declared Colorado's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, but he issued a temporary stay of the ruling to give the state a chance to appeal.<br />
Judge Raymond P. Moore's ruling Wednesday was in response to a lawsuit filed July 1 by six gay couples who asked the court for an injunction ordering that the state's ban no longer be enforced.<br />
Colorado Republican Attorney General John Suthers and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper had requested a stay so the issue could eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court - though both agreed the state ban should be declared unconstitutional.<br />
The couples filed the lawsuit after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled against Utah's gay marriage ban but put the ruling on hold pending an appeal.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
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