US: Colorado marriage ban won’t eliminate all gay rights

Angela D’Amboise | January 20, 2006

DENVER, Colorado — Same sex-couples in Colorado might still enjoy some legal protections under a proposed amendment to the state constitution that bans gay marriage, the leader of the group seeking to place the measure on the ballot said Wednesday.

Jon Paul, executive director of the newly formed Coloradans for Marriage, said the group is leaning toward a proposal that defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman. But Paul says the proposed amendment will not ban legal recognition of domestic partnerships that offer inheritance rights and other benefits.

That final language is expected by the end of the month.

In the meantime, another group formed to fight the expected initiative began canvassing Denver neighborhoods this week to tell voters about discrimination that gay and lesbian couples face in areas like property inheritance and job discrimination, the Associated Press reported.

The effort will eventually be expanded across the state.

“We first believe once voters are aware of some of the discriminatory practices in the legal system, they will begin to understand over the long-term the need for legal remedies, whether in the form of domestic partnerships, or ultimately, way down the road, gay marriage,” said Rick Ridder of Coloradans for Fairness and Equality.

State Democrats are also pushing ahead with a proposal to ask voters if they’ll support creating a domestic partnership law. They hope that approach will avoid a divisive debate over marriage and religion.

Paul said his group, which he described as a broad coalition that includes religious organizations, won’t be focusing on the domestic partnership proposal.

“We’re going to focus on our initiative,” he explained. “If our initiative conflicts with that, then so be it.” Issued by Gay Link Content

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