The gay marriage debate in Mesa County

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Mesa County is actually governed by the 10th Circuit Court of appeals based out of Denver, so their decision to allow same sex marriage in Utah sets a serious precedence for our own officials right here the Grand Valley.

The push to allow gay marriage licenses is gaining lots of momentum in Colorado on account of the ban being lifted but it's still not enough for Mesa County.

Despite the Mesa County clerk calling gay marriage “imminent,” gay couples are being turned away at the county's recorder window as they attempt to apply for their marriage license.

"It's just really frustrating that we're not there yet because it's just so close, you know one man's decision is holding us back from starting our life together,” says Emmanuel Cisneros.

For gay couples in Mesa County, the decision by the 10th Circuit Court of appeals to lift Utah's gay marriage ban has made the possibility of legal union all the more real.

The same court has jurisdiction over Mesa County.

The influx of marriage license requests by the community has pushed the issue to the top of the political agenda.

“Input from the Mesa County citizens and our community weighs heavily on my mind, and the decisions that I make, and so does the oath that I took to uphold the law of the state of Colorado,” says Mesa County Clerk, Sheila Reiner.

Despite the strong push to allow marriage licenses for gay couples across the country, not all agree it's the best move.

"As far as marriage goes, i tend to lean pretty right, it's a sacred thing, says one Mesa County resident.

"Homosexuals have the potential to be the strongest and most influential people and so I want to encourage them in any way that I can, but I think that society is encouraging them the wrong way,” says another resident.

For many it boils down to the simple issue of equality.

Gay couples want the right to be able to legally recognize their union the same way that heterosexual couples do.

"It's not pitiful to want that same privilege to go down to the clerk's office and get all that dealt with without having to deal with all the dry legal procedure that take way from the whole romantic idea of a marriage.

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