DENVER -- For years, gay rights activists in Colorado repeatedly said it would only be a matter of time before they would be allowed to marry.
They repeated that even as they struggled for years to get civil unions passed through the Colorado Legislature. Then, less than a year after civil unions became law here on July 1, 2013, state courts began to topple gay marriage bans across the country, albeit with stays pending appeals to higher courts.
On Wednesday, a federal judge in Denver struck a blow to Colorado's voter-approved gay marriage ban, calling it unconstitutional but issuing a temporary stay to give the state a chance to appeal.
The ruling could be another step toward a showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the question of gay marriage bans once and for all.