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Seeking same sex marriages (SSM) in Colorado

Part 7: 2014-FEB -JUN: SSM lawsuit filed (Cont'd)
SSM Poll data. Economic benefits of SSMs.
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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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2014-FEB-19: Nine couples file lawsuit to legalize same-sex marriage (SSM) in Colorado (Cont'd):

The Denver Post reports:

"The plaintiffs in the newer case include administrators, educators, a legal assistant and recruiter, a technical writer, a psychotherapist, an aerospace engineer, a volunteer and a police officer..."

"Four couples are raising children together. ..."

"Five of the couples in the Colorado lawsuit — Tracey MacDermott and Heather Shockey; Wendy and Michelle Alfredsen; Tommy Craig and Joshua Wells; Jodi Lupien and Kathleen Porter; and Christopher Massey and James Davis — wish to get married, the lawsuit says.

"Colorado law creates two classes of citizens: those free to marry the person they love, and those denied that fundamental right,' the suit says. 'Same-sex couples in Colorado are relegated to a second-class level of citizenship that denies their relationships the full panoply of rights enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples.'

The other four plaintiff couples — Amy Smart and Sandra Abbott; Kevin and Kyle Bemis; G. Kristian "Kris" and Nan McDaniel-Miccio; and Sara Knickerbocker and Jessica Ryann Peyton — are legally married same-sex couples, having wed in other states. But those marriages are not acknowledged in Colorado." 1

One unusual factor in this case is that the nine plaintiffs appear to be pursuing marriage equality by themselves without official sponsorship by state-wide groups supporting marriage equality. However five state LGBT-positive groups: One ColoradoACLU of ColoradoGLBT Community Center of ColoradoColorado GLBT Bar Association, and the Faithful Voices Coalition issued statements of support for the nine couples. 2 From among the five statements, we have selected two which demonstrate either legal or religious opinions"

  • Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, Executive Director of ACLU of Colorado wrote:

    "The American Civil Liberties Union has been working for decades to secure marriage equality throughout the country, including here in Colorado. Over the past few years and especially the last few months, we’ve seen an astonishing and welcome shift toward Americans embracing equality and the freedom to marry. As the country progresses, Colorado’s marriage ban increasingly places our state at a competitive and moral disadvantage. We recognize the courage and resolve of these couples and their attorneys as they pursue, through the courts, the freedom to marry that all Coloradans deserve. And as advocates for full equality, we will continue to facilitate the important conversation across our state about why all families deserve the full dignity and protection that only marriage can provide." 2

  • Jeremy Shaver is the spokesperson for the Faithful Voices Coalition, a coalition comprised of 215 faith leaders and 60 faith-based organizations who support marriage equality:

    "As people of faith, we believe in the Golden Rule – to treat others as we would want to be treated. In light of the litigation filed today, it is important to remember that freedom means freedom for everyone, and none of us should be treated differently just because of who we are. We believe marriage is best defined by love, commitment, and the ability to protect your family -– and that is why we support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples across our state. 2

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wedding rings2014-MAR-19: Public Policy Polling (PPP) releases results of a poll on same-sex marriage (SSM) in Colorado:

Public Policy Polling reported:

"Support for gay marriage has hit a new record high in Colorado. 56% of voters support it to only 36% who are opposed. There's been a 20 point net increase in support for it since August of 2011 when we found voters in the state evenly divided on the issue. Among voters under 45, 71% think gay marriage should be legal with just 21% thinking it should continue to be illegal. When you expand the discussion to civil unions, 79% of Colorado voters support some form of legal recognition for same sex couples to only 18% who think there shouldn't be any at all. Even 66% of Republican voters at least support civil unions. ... PPP surveyed 568 registered voters from March 13th to 16th, including 255 Republican primary voters. The margin of error for the overall survey is ±4.1 percentage points. 3

Support for SSM by Colorado voters is very close to national polling data.

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money image 2014-APR-04: Townhall.com discusses economic benefits of same-sex marriage in Colorado:

Townhall is a conservative information web site. They discussed the economic impact on Colorado if the state were to make marriage available to same-sex couples. 4 They quoted a new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA. 5 The study estimated that almost half of the 12,000 same-sex couples in the state would marry within three years if same-sex marriage were made available. This would bring about $40 million extra spending for the wedding industry in the state and another $10 million guest spending during the first three years.

The Townhall article concludes:

"The study concludes that marriage equality is not necessarily all about religious beliefs of what’s right and wrong, but that allowing gay couples to marry could actually be extremely economically beneficial for states."

The strange feature about this article is that it contains no references to activist judges, natural marriage, animus towards the LGBT community, denying the right of the citizens of Colorado to amend their constitution to prohibit SSM, the Bible, etc. They just reported the matter straight up.

However, readers of the Townhall article were invited to give their impressions. Results were:

  • 8 readers rated the article "ridiculous."

  • 3 readers rated the article as "awesome," "important" or "insane."

  • No readers rated the article as "smart." "surprising," or "wow."

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Kirk Mitchell and Kurtis Lee, "Nine couples seek to overturn Colorado's gay marriage ban," Denver Post, 2014-FEB-19, at: http://www.denverpost.com/
  2. "One Colorado, Equality Advocates Issue Statement on Marriage Equality Litigation Filed in Denver County," One Colorado, 2014-FEB-20, at: http://www.one-colorado.org/
  3. "CO voters rate marijuana legalization a success, support gay marriage," Public Policy Polling, 2014-MAR-19, at: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/
  4. Heather Ginsbert, "Study: Gay Marriage Could add $50 Million to Colorado's Economy," Townhall, 2014-APR-04, at: http://townhall.com/
  5. Christy Mallory & M.V. Lee Badgett, "Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Colorado," The Williams Institute, 2014-APR, at: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/
  6. Keith Coffman & Daniel Wallis, "Emboldened by Utah ruling, Colorado clerk issues gay marriage licenses," Reuters, 2014-JUN-26, at: http://www.reuters.com/
  7. Ivan Moreno, "Clerk won't stop issuing licenses to gay couples," Associated Press, 2014-JUL-01, at: http://www.sfgate.com/
  8. Dan Frosch, "Colorado same-sex ban taken to court," New York Times, 2014-FEB-14, at: http://www.sfgate.com/
  9. Lyle Denniston, "Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban falls," SCOTUSblog, 2014-JUL-10, at: http://www.scotusblog.com/
  10. C. Scott Crabtree, "District Court, Adams County, Case # 13-CV-32572, 2014-JUL-09, at: http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/
  11. Thomas Hendrick & Dave Young, "Colo. Supreme Court orders Denver County stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses," Fox 31 Denver, 2014-JUL-18, at: http://kdvr.com/
  12. Alan Greenblatt, "Appeals Court Upholds Ruling To Lift Oklahoma Same-Sex-Marriage Ban," National Public Radio, 2014-JUL-18, at: http://www.npr.org/

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Copyright 2013 & 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2013-MAR-12
Latest update: 2014-JUL-20
Author: B.A. Robinson

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