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Pioneering county clerk who issued first same-sex marriage licenses in 1975 has died


MAR 27 1975, 4/10/2000 Pat Prince Issues License To Dave McCord, Dave Zamora, Right Watching in the background is Clela Rorex, Boulder County clerk. Photo: Denver Post via Getty Images Clela Rorex, the former clerk in Boulder County, Colorado who issued the nation’s first same-sex marriage licenses in 1975, has died. She was 78.

Rorex had been elected to the post in November 1974 just months before David McCord and David Zamora came to her seeking a marriage license.

Related: Students sued their school for the right to form a Gay-Straight Alliance. They just won.

Rorex consulted William C. Wise, the county’s assistant district attorney, who said that same-sex marriage did not appear to be specifically prohibited by state law.

“There is no statutory law prohibiting the issuance of a license, probably because the situation was simply not contemplated in the past by our legislature,” he told her.

Clela issued the license to the couple the following day, March 27, 1975. In early April she granted a marriage license to two women, again making news.“Colorado has become a mini-Nevada for homosexual couples,” The New York Times said at the time.Rorex granted half a dozen licenses to same-sex couples before the state attorney […]

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