Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has come under fire from human rights organizations for his support of federal law denying same-sex married couples the same rights and benefits under the Defense of Marriage Act.

Suthers filed an amicus brief supporting the law in the case, Massachusetts vs. Department of Health and Human Services. The Massachusetts state government is contesting the law, saying it is unconstitutional.

The Human Rights Campaign and One Colorado, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organizations, condemned Suthers’ actions.

“We are shocked that Attorney General John Suthers has joined this attack on same-sex couples,” said Brad Clark, executive director of One Colorado. “With all the problems Colorado is facing, it is incredible that Suthers would spend time and taxpayer dollars on this lawsuit. We ask Suthers to withdraw his support.”

One Colorado is circulating petitions throughout the state, asking Suthers to withdraw his support.

In July 2010, a federal district judge ruled it unconstitutional for the federal government to recognize some of Massachusetts’s lawful marriages, but treat similarly lawful marriages between same-sex couples as invalid. The Department of Justice has appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In his brief, the state attorney general expressed his support for the Defense of Marriage Act.

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