The Real Story of the Colorado Man who Tried to Marry a Horse
Colorado has a lot of well-known history, but have you heard the story of a man who attempted to marry his horse in order to prove a point? This actually did happen, and while he and his horse were denied their marriage license, the unlikely pair's photo hung at the county clerk's office where the strange event took place for years.
Keep reading to learn about this bizarre page out of the Colorado history books.
Colorado Same-Sex Marriage Inspires Inter-Species Marriage Attempt
Our story begins back in the mid-1970s with a same-sex couple consisting of Dave McCord and Dave Zamora. As couples often do, the pair desired to be wed, but an attempt to do so in Colorado Springs was met with a declaration of "we don't do that here" and the couple was instructed to try again in Boulder.
The Daves did just that and were helped by a fairly new employee by the name of Clela Rorex, who had only been in her position for three months prior to getting this request.
Rorex was told that the decision whether or not to marry the couple rested solely on her shoulders and after contemplating the backlash, decided to issue the license to the men based on a personal moral decision to which she'd arrived.
However, no one could have predicted what would happen next.
Colorado Man Tries to Marry Horse
Enter Roswell Howard. "Ros" Howard was a fairly well-known figure in Boulder at the time and, according to Rorex, "an old media hack" and "an alcoholic - a bad one."
After issuing the Colorado Springs couple the state's first same-sex marriage license on March 26, 1975, Rorex saw a lot of attention come her way and on one particular day in the office, noticed a hoard of media roll up to the building along with a horse trailer.
Howard greeted Rorex and, according to her, said something to the effect of, "If a man can marry a man and a woman can marry a woman, why can't a tired old cowboy like me marry his best friend, Dolly?"
While scrambling to figure out a legal defense to make sure the man didn't marry his horse, Rorex asked Howard how old Dolly was, to which he replied that she was eight years old.
Rorex took this opportunity to deny Howard his request on the basis that his horse was too young to get married.
This bizarre incident inspired the county clerk's office to hang a photo of Howard and Dolly on one of their walls, but in 2018 it was replaced with a photo of Rorex instead.