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February 25, 2011 03:07 AM UTC

On radio, Suthers vows to fight so gay married couples don't get CO benefits

  • by: Jason Salzman

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Today’s Denver Post reported that Attorney General John Suthers didn’t have much to say about the Obama Administration’s decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

But Suthers discussed Obama’s decision for about 15 minutes on KOA’s Mike Rosen show this morning.

He told Rosen he doesn’t want Colorado to be forced to recognize gay marriages, performed in states like Massachusetts. This, he said, might require our state to give Colorado’s marriage benefits to gay married couples who move here from states like Mass. Suthers said on the radio:

“We’re going to defend Colorado’s right to say, this is what we think marriage is, and we would not like to have to recognize marriages in other states because that flows for Colorado benefits too, Mike. We’re not just talking about federal benefits. There are statuses of being married that have advantages in Colorado law too.”

Rosen failed to ask Suthers what Colorado marriage benefits he didn’t want same-sex married people to have. It was my understanding that DOMA, under section 3, tried to prevent gay married couples from receiving federal marriage benefits, like being able to be buried together in veterans’ cemeteries.

So I asked Suthers’ Communications Director, Mike Saccone, which Colorado marriage benefits Suthers was referring to:

“What he was thinking of was the joint filing of taxes,” Saccone told me. “To the extent there are other benefits that mention marriage, Amendment 43 [which bans gay marriage in Colorado] could affect them too.”


11 thoughts on “On radio, Suthers vows to fight so gay married couples don’t get CO benefits

  1. Let alone a Republican value. Try again, Mike Saccone. You’re more intelligent than that.

    Unless you’re trying to highlight your boss’s tone deaf bigotry, in which case good job. Because it’s now quite clear that Suthers is willing to throw out his core principles on taxation in order to support his anti-gay bias.

        1. With a journalism degree from Northwestern, and some good credentials.  He interned with the Innocence Project, and with the Cox Supreme Court Bureau.

          Mike is the best damned political reporter the Sentinel has had in the whole time I have lived in Grand Junction.

          If I had a son, I would wish for him to be just like Mike.

          On a Sentinel salary, he couldn’t afford to eat meat more than twice a week.

          He deserves a good job.  And now he has one and he’s doing it well.

          Maybe it’s time you learned to separate the message from the messenger.  Your beef is with Suthers, not Saccone.

          Mike is my friend.  Fuck with him and you’re fucking with me.

    1. banner to be charging the ramparts under… “Death before joint income tax filing for same sex couples!”  Inspiring, isn’t it?  

      Doesn’t he have more important things to take care of for the people of Colorado besides this and taking the health care reform plan to court? The one proposed by the President our state went for and passed with the votes of both  of our Senators  and the majority of the Reps we sent to congress in 2008?

  2. The Southern segregationists were resorting to the exact same “states’ rights” reasoning in defending their anti-miscegenation laws 50 years ago.

  3. B1: Let’s tell everyone we’re against gay marriage because it’s yucky.

    B2: Actually most people are ok with it.

    B1: How about we say it means people of the same sex will be holding hands in public.

    B2: No good, generally people find that cute, and in the case of young women – hot.

    B1: How about we bring up the horrible example of two people making a life-long committment to each other.

    B2: Aren’t we supposed to be in favor of that?

    B1: I’ve got it! I’ve got it! Joint filing – that’s disgusting if they’re the same sex.

    B2: Brilliant. Now let’s go hit a strip club to celebrate.

  4. The main way that joint returns reduces taxes in opposite sex married couples involve couples where a high income husband has significant amounts of income that would be taxed at a higher marginal tax rate if he were single than they would be if he was married, filing jointly and has a wife who earns less money.

    Colorado has a flat income tax rate (4.63%) on all taxable income, so this factor is irrelevant in Colorado.

    There is a slight marriage bonus for state tax purposes (typically about $433) due to greater utilization of the standard deduction and personal exemption when one spouse has no income and the other has significant income (mostly eliminated for homoeowners with mortgages and high income taxpayers who don’t take the standard deduction) but that is probably less common, on average, for same sex couples than for opposite sex couples, and is counterbalanced by the fact that deductions and exemptions are phased out sooner for high income married couples with similar incomes than they would be if those couples were not married.

    Add in the facts that same sex married couples would make up a pretty small share of all taxpaying households, and that gay marriage friendly policies attract people to the state who might otherwise choose to locate elsewhere, and thus increase the total amount of income the state has to tax in the first place, and it isn’t at all clear that this would even be a net negative from a revenue perspective for Colorado.

    Also, since when did Republicans come out against modest tax breaks for hard working state residents?

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