Clela Rorex, a former Colorado county clerk considered a pioneer in the gay rights movement for being the first public official to issue a same-sex marriage license in 1975, has died. She was 78.
The Daily Camera reports that Rorex died Sunday of complications from recent surgery at a hospice care facility. Rorex was a newly elected Boulder County clerk when a gay couple denied a marriage license elsewhere sought her help in March 1975.
The then-31-year-old agreed and went on to issue six licenses to gay couples before Colorado's attorney general ordered her to stop. Colorado legalized gay marriage in 2014. A 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision recognized the fundamental right nationwide.
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