Clela Rorex, who made headlines in 1975 when, as the Boulder County clerk in Colorado, she issued a marriage license to a gay couple, one of the first to do so in the nation, died on Sunday at a hospice center in Longmont, Colo.
She was 78. Her son Scott Poston said the cause was complications of an infection. Colorado’s governor, Jared Polis, who is gay, was among those paying tribute to Ms.
Rorex. “So many families, including First Gentleman Marlon Reis and I, are grateful for the visionary leadership of Clela Rorex,” he wrote on Facebook, calling her a woman “ahead of her time.” Ms.
Rorex had been in the clerk’s post for only a few months when she issued the groundbreaking license, a first for Colorado and one of the first in the nation. (Two men had been issued a license earlier in Arizona, but it was quickly revoked.) She was elected the previous November.