More than 5,000 Coloradans signed a petition that was delivered Thursday to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, urging him to stop wasting the state’s resources and allow all loving, committed couples the freedom to marry.
A group of couples and their families, faith leaders, elected officials, and community leaders from Why Marriage Matters Colorado gathered at the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center over the lunch hour to present the petition signatures and ask Attorney General Suthers to stop his legal appeal and continued defense of Colorado’s discriminatory marriage ban.
There have been more than 20 consecutive state and federal court rulings across the country declaring that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. In early July, Adams County District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree declared Colorado’s marriage ban unconstitutional. A federal 10th Circuit Court decision struck down a similar ban in Utah in June that could ultimately impact Colorado’s ban; a stay on that order will expire Monday, July 21. There is also a pending federal case against Colorado’s marriage ban.
Pamela Thiele and Lauren Fortmiller, who have been together for 13 years, said: “Attorney General Suthers is absolutely correct: we do need clarity. Gay families need clarity. The shortest route to clarity is to listen to the judges in Colorado and across the nation who have already said there is no valid opposing argument. Do we need to ask again? Let the judgment stand. Let us be. Let us be married.”
“Why does Attorney General Suthers insist on continuing his one-man crusade against the freedom to marry here in our state?” asked Dave Montez, executive director of statewide LGBT advocacy group One Colorado. “He concedes this ban is likely to be found unconstitutional. You have to wonder if this is more about rumors of his upcoming run for Mayor of Colorado Springs than anything else – and pandering to the right-wing extremists of his party. But Mr. Suthers, if this is really about your personal political ambitions, then thousands of our families should not be asked to pay the price. The people of Colorado deserve better.”
“Even Attorney General Suthers has acknowledged that Colorado’s marriage ban is not likely to pass constitutional muster. If he’s looking for legal clarity, he can look to Republican Governors in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Nevada, who all recently decided to stop wasting taxpayer dollars defending similar indefensible bans,” said Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, ACLU of Colorado Executive Director.
The online petition support underscores popular support of freedom to marry – a recent Quinnipiac poll showed 61 percent of Coloradans now favor marriage equality.