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Colorado couple files marriage equality challenge

Civil Unions LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

coloradoStateSealA gay couple in Colorado has filed a lawsuit in state court arguing that the state’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional, the AP reports:

Dr. Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Adams County District Court after they say they were denied a marriage license earlier the same day. Colorado voters outlawed gay marriage in 2006.

This year, Colorado passed a same-sex civil unions law. But Brinkman and Burd’s attorneys argue civil unions are inferior to marriage and more like a business relationship. The attorneys say Colorado’s ban is unconstitutional and cite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling from June that invalidated part of the Defense of Marriage Act

Brinkman and Burd have been in a relationship for 34 years.

Brinkman and Burd’s lawsuit argues that Article II, Section 31 of the Colorado Constitution, which reads that “only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid and recognized as a marriage,” is a violation of same-sex couples equal protection and due process rights under the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

This summer, after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional, LGBT advocates in Colorado expressed a desire to push for full marriage equality for same-sex couples. ┬áMark Ferrandino, the openly gay speaker of the Colorado House, said that gay rights groups led by One Colorado are gearing up for a push to repeal Colorado’s voter-approved constitutional ban on equal marriage rights, which passed in 2006.

You can watch a report on the new lawsuit from 7NEWS, Denver’s ABC affiliate, below.

2 Comments

  • 1. dpr  |  January 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    One Colorado is a respectable organization but I"m frustrated at Dave Montez, Exec Director's pussyfoot comment that sounded more like it is coming from someone with an R next to their name. From the Boston Herald (AP): Dave Montez, executive director of the gay rights group One Colorado, said more than marriage is at stake. It’s important to have elected officials who support gay people and laws that protect the community. ‘‘There’s a difference between having a marriage license and feeling comfortable enough to put a picture of your spouse on your desk,’’ he said.

    More than marriage? What? Fundraisers? Good grief.

    I think these guys are quietly annoyed that the law they thought was so nifty (Civil Unions) is not what anyone ever really wanted but accepted as a slow step forward, and now all the cheering they've done and money they've raised might just be irrelevant just like their organizations if marriage passes.

    The fact that him, Rep. Steadman, and even the dang attorney who argued against the homophobic Denver bakery are all flapping in the wind over this one, uttering and muttering and mumbling about "respecting policy" and "respecting the process", ad nauseum.

    How about respecting due process? How about cheering on the active lawsuit that was filed last October in Colorado?

    I'm done with these organizations that start acting like HRC used to act in the mid-2000s when they ignored marriage instead fundraised with underwear fashion show events to raise money for slick magazines and an obsession over ENDA.

    HRC has changed their ways. One Colorado needs to not follow their lead into the mealy-mouthed non-profit of fundraising first, serving your base second. I certainly won't be afraid to call them out nor should any other gay Coloradan.

  • 2. Rick O.  |  January 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Whilst the liberal- Democatic- gang of four politics in Colorado has been immensely successful, and does to a certain extent get to call some shots, there is no reason for One Colorado to pussyfoot, even if it's all Tim Gill's money. Steadman, I can understand, he's still in the legislature, and promises were made over Civil Unions (though I wonder if tax matters were specifically left out of the bill so there would be a specific inequality to sue over).
    One Colorado also determined to wait till 2016 to attempt repeal of the Constitutional ban, and has squashed all efforts to proceed now. Fair enough, and politically wise, but not showing some enthusiasm for lawsuits is a real wet blanket.
    The public is readier than they think? I just got married (in Vermont) rather than "civilly united" here, and 95% of our Republican neighbors on a dirt road in Douglas County have had no problem using the word "married". Three sent gifts after they heard.

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