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Party Will Honor Boulder County’s Place in Same-sex Marriage History

January 3, 2019
Boulder County Commissioner Deb Gardner points out former County Clerk Clela Rorex in a 1975 photo of Dave McCord and Dave Zamora obtaining one of the country's first same sex marriage licenses just after the photo was put up in the Boulder County Courthouse in June. The photo replaced one of Roswell "Ros" Howard, who in reaction to Rorex issuing same-sex marriage licenses, applied to marry his horse, Dolly.

Boulder County officials and local LGBTQ activists are planning a celebration Friday at the Boulder County Courthouse to mark the county’s national historic designation for in 1975 being the first county in the state to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

The keeper of the National Register of Historic Places in July officially approved an amendment to the Boulder County Courthouse’s place on the register, recognizing its significance to Colorado LGBTQ history and civil rights struggles.

A news release from Out Boulder County states that the public is invited to the Boulder County Courthouse, 1325 Pearl St., at 4:30 p.m. Friday to celebrate the change and unveil a plaque recognizing the change.

Clela Rorex, who in 1975 issued the state’s first same-sex marriage license as Boulder County Clerk and Recorder , is expected to speak at the event. Rorex issued a half-dozen such licenses until she was ordered to stop by the state attorney general.

The courthouse joins other places considered important to the LGBTQ civil rights movement, such as the Stonewall Inn in New York City, the Walt Whitman House in Camden, N.J., and jointly, the Castro Camera and Harvey Milk Residence in San Francisco.

Earlier this year, county officials papered over a photo of Roswell “Ros” Howard and his horse, Dolly, on a photo collage commemorating the 150th anniversary of the founding of Boulder County. Howard applied for a marriage license for himself and his horse but was denied.

The photo was replaced by one of Dave McCord and Dave Zamora, one of the first same sex couples to receive a marriage license in 1975.

John Bear: 303-473-1355, bearj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/johnbearwithme

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