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January 16, 2006 09:00 AM UTC

Democrats Fire First Shot in Gay Marriage Battle

  • 41 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

It’s an open secret that a gay marriage ban is expected to be on the November ballot, but Democrats aren’t waiting to react to that proposal. Tomorrow Sen. Joan Fitz-Gerald and Rep. Tom Plant will introduce legislation that would legalize domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.

To read the full press release, click below…

LEGISLATORS TO ASK COLORADANS TO OK DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS

Measure Would Promote Fairness, End Legal Discrimination

Promoting fairness, equity and opportunity for all Coloradans is the aim of legislation to be unveiled at the State Capitol tomorrow that would legalize domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.  The bill, in the form of a referendum, would go before Colorado voters in November 2006. 

The Colorado Domestic Partnership Act, sponsored by Representative Tom Plant (D-Nederland), Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald (D-Coal Creek Canyon), would enable same-sex couples to register their domestic partnership with their local county clerk and recorder.  The paperwork and filing fees would be comparable to couples applying for a marriage license. 

To become domestic partners, both persons would have to be of the same sex, at least 18 years of age, not be party to a marriage or other domestic partnership and not be related to one another. 

WHAT: The Colorado Domestic Partnership Act

WHEN: Tuesday, January 17, 2006, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: State Capitol Press Room, Third Floor

WHO: Representative Tom Plant, Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald

The bill would remedy a number of legal disparities between married and same-sex couples, including:

  The right to visitation and to be involved in the care of hospital patients and nursing home residents;
  Protection of property rights, inheritance and pension benefits
  The right to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner
  Access to a partners health care benefits
  Access to family leave benefits to care for an ill partner
  The right to take possession of a deceased partners remains and make decisions regarding burial or cremation.

Comments

41 thoughts on “Democrats Fire First Shot in Gay Marriage Battle

  1. The Democrats have had lpenty of good ideas. The MSM just doesn’t give them any press…so much for the liberal MSM. I’m not surprised Gecko is seeing cows flying…..he’s a Republican who sees a President who tells no lies, supports a raped environment and a screwed middle class, and agrees that we should ignore global warming and to hell with putting a serious effort into reducing our dependency on middle east oil.

    Ride that cow Gecko…..

  2. Which begs the question, “Why don’t the Dems wait to see what the ballot initiative brings?”

    You know, “government OF the people”, etc.

  3. Does anyone know if current Colorado laws protect the rights of the non biological parent and the children of gay couples in the areas of child support, inheritance, parenting time and decision making?

  4. Does anyone know if current Colorado laws protect the rights of the non biological parent and the children of gay couples in the areas of child support, inheritance, parenting time and decision making?

  5. Naw Sir Robin, I’ll ride my Titan instead of a cow. But I am still amazed that a Democrat can come up with something as simple and hopefully problem solving as this. Usually all they want to do is give my money to people that don’t want to work, raise taxes to fund their almost Socialist society, and otherwise generally mess with conservatives.

  6. BMR…

    You must be joking about the initative process being “government OF the people”.  That may have been so in the day but not today.  The anticipated gay marriage ban initative is being run by far right R’s to get their base activated for the 06 elections.  That’s common knowledge.  The same tactic was used by Carl Rove in several critical states in 04.

    The D’s proposal is both politically fresh and good policy.  And, it goes to a vote of the people.  How much more paticipatory can you get?

  7. BMR…

    You must be joking about the initative process being “government OF the people”.  That may have been so in the day but not today.  The anticipated gay marriage ban initative is being run by far right R’s to get their base activated for the 06 elections.  That’s common knowledge.  The same tactic was used by Carl Rove in several critical states in 04.

    The D’s proposal is both politically fresh and good policy.  And, it goes to a vote of the people.  How much more paticipatory can you get?

  8. BMR…

    You must be joking about the initative process being “government OF the people”.  That may have been so in the day but not today.  The anticipated gay marriage ban initative is being run by far right R’s to get their base activated for the 06 elections.  That’s common knowledge.  The same tactic was used by Carl Rove in several critical states in 04.

    The D’s proposal is both politically fresh and good policy.  And, it goes to a vote of the people.  How much more paticipatory can you get?

  9. “I have a ceremony to attend,” quoth one, “at dawn to-morrow, in the Quirinal valley.” “What is the occasion?” “No need to ask: a friend is taking to himself a husband; quite a small affair.” Yes, and if we only live long enough, we shall see these things done openly: people will wish to see them reported among the news of the day. Meanwhile these would-be brides have one great trouble: they can bear no children wherewith to keep the affection of their husbands; well has nature done in granting to their desires no power over their bodies. They die unfertile; naught avails them the medicine-chest of the bloated Lyde, or to hold out their hands to the blows of the swift-footed Luperci!

    Juvenal, Satire II

  10. BMR…

    You must be joking about the initative process being “government OF the people”.  That may have been so in the day but not today.  The anticipated gay marriage ban initative is being run by far right R’s to get their base activated for the 06 elections.  That’s common knowledge.  The same tactic was used by Carl Rove in several critical states in 04.

    The D’s proposal is both politically fresh and good policy.  And, it goes to a vote of the people.  How much more paticipatory can you get?

  11. BMR…

    You must be joking about the initative process being “government OF the people”.  That may have been so in the day but not today.  The anticipated gay marriage ban initative is being run by far right R’s to get their base activated for the 06 elections.  That’s common knowledge.  The same tactic was used by Carl Rove in several critical states in 04.

    The D’s proposal is both politically fresh and good policy.  And, it goes to a vote of the people.  How much more paticipatory can you get?

  12. It just may be that the majority of Coloradans will prefer both referenda, and if so, as BMR suggests, a “problem” (i.e., a deep social divide) may be solved, at least for a good while.  Not just a good thing to do, but politically a great stroke by the Dems.

  13. Sorry for the multiple posts.  I gave it 5-8 minutes to process and it didn’t—or so I thought.  I guess we just click the post button and don’t worry about “seeing” it posted?

  14. Woke up to this great news this morning.  I have to say I’m proud to be represented by both Tom Plant and Joan Fitz-Gerald.

    So far I’ve heard a lot of positive response to this move, including from conservative voices.

  15. I hope that the House and Senate R’s support the referendum question in order to get the two-thirds vote necessary to make it a ballot question in November.  Anything less would indicate to the voters that they (they voters) can’t be trusted to decide these important questions that need public closure–finally.  The D’s can make some points about democracy if the R’s refuse even to put the civil unions question to the voters.  And we know those pesky voters LOVE to vote in Colorado.  If the referendum vote fails in the legislature, then the Dems could even try to pass civil unions legislation by themselves with Republican allies.  WWBD??  (What Will Bill Owens Do Then?)

  16. “The D’s proposal is both politically fresh and good policy. And, it goes to a vote of the people. How much more paticipatory can you get?”

    ………….

    Ri-i-i-ight.  You mean like the way Amendment 2 was a ballot issue in 1992, and received a “YES” vote of over 60% of the people, and then it took a single judge (Romer Appointee) to tell “the people” to take a hike?

    You mean like that kind of “participatory” government?

    And Fitz Gerald’s motives are oh-so-pure, completely devoid of political opportunism? 

    LOL, yeah, that’s a good one.

  17. Um, George, I’m familiar with what happened with Amendment 2, and the case that ended up at USSC all started within hours of the 60% ‘yes’ vote.

    So your point was….?

  18. Dissent
    Justice Antonin Scalia wrote an impassioned dissent which was joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas. Scalia wrote:

    [Amendment 2 is] a modest attempt by seemingly tolerant Coloradans to preserve traditional sexual mores against the efforts of a politically powerful minority to revise those mores through use of the laws. That objective, and the means chosen to achieve it, are […] unimpeachable under any constitutional doctrine hitherto pronounced.
    Scalia argued that Amendment 2 did not deny homosexuals access to the political process but merely made it more difficult to enact laws that they favored. He noted that the majority’s result stood in flat contradiction to the court’s earlier decision in Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986), in which it had ruled that laws outlawing sodomy are not unconstitutional. That was because Bowers had rejected a rational-basis challenge to sodomy laws on the grounds that traditional moral disapproval furnished such a rational basis. Scalia noted:

    If it is rational to criminalize the conduct, surely it is rational to deny special favor and protection to those with a self-avowed tendency or desire to engage in the conduct.
    Against what he saw as judicial activism, he wrote:

    Since the Constitution of the United States says nothing about this subject [homosexuality], it is left to be resolved by normal democratic means, including the democratic adoption of provisions in state constitutions.

  19. No, badmoon, apparently you weren’t familiar with what happened with Amendment 2, as you suggested it was overturned by a “…single judge (Romer appointee)…” Need to get your facts straight (not a pun!)before you post. Or, one would think that would be the wise thing to do.

  20. See, badmoon, the Romer v. Evans decision was a 6-3 decision by the Supremes. Your side lost. They wrote a dissenting opinion and life goes on. Get over it.

  21. What does this bill have to do with Amendment 2?  If this passes, it becomes a Referendum to pass a law.  That means the people vote on it.

    Amendment 2 was over a decade ago, and authorized blatant discrimination against gays.  It got shot down because the Supreme Court ruled it violated the U.S. Constitution (14th Amendment).  Scalia’s dissent means little against that backdrop.

  22. George:  Are you suggesting that the vote on Amd. 2 went directly to the US Supreme Court?

    Please tell me you don’t really think that…

    Phoenix:  I put in the Dissent opinion because it points out a very important issue:  (and this was the case with Amendment 2):  the point being that just because voters have their say, doesn’t make it law.  And so could the case be with Fitz Gerald’s politically-motivated agenda here with gay marriage.

  23. Gay marriage and gay unions are all about equal civil rights for all. Any politician who opposes equal civil rights for gays is a throwback to the racists who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  24. “… is a throwback to the racists who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

    ………….

    Who were mostly Democrats.

    And by the way, the comparison is laughable.

  25. The comparison is almost direct, if without the brutality of slavery to emphasize it.  Within the past half-century there were still laws outlawing interracial marriage, and the reasons given were almost word-for-word the same as the reasons given against gay unions now.

    And those Democrats left their party for that other party, if you’ll recall.  You don’t do yourself any good by bringing up misleading facts…

  26. Phoenix, please!  Some of us ARE old enough to remember:

    Please – name ONE.  (Don’t bother w/ George Wallace – he never became a GOPer, though he did leave the Dems).

    Oh – and there’s that fellow from West VA – Byrd?  He’s STILL in the Senate.

    Stop trying to revise history fer crying out loud.  You chastised me for going back 10 whole years — now you’re the one going back a few decades.

    And saying

    “The comparison is almost direct, if without the brutality of slavery to emphasize it. ” 

    is a bit like saying, “well, it was considered an ideal marriage, if you ignore the several shooting incidences and the dozens of times they cheated on each other.”

  27. Didn’t we just argue this a few weeks ago?
    I for one am pleased that the Dems are going to introduce this legislation. If boys want to hold hands and play house, that is fine. They can fill out forms and become a couple with most all the benefits of a normal man/woman marriage. Great. They are happy and people like me that want the word “marriage” to remain as it has traditionally been, won’t have to fight off having “gay marriage” crammed down our throats. The majority of the people would probably accept this.
    But gay marriage legislation will bring up one hell of a fight. And I’ll be doing what I can to not let a vast minority change what I perceive as traditional moral values, if in fact, it is pursued.

  28. Yes, we argued it just a little while back, and no I’m not going to continue arguing it again.

    Plant and Fitz-Gerald I think have crafted a solution that many conservatives like you, Gecko, can agree with, and have not gone over that line that many see in using the word “marriage”.  If the state eventually sets all legal domestic relationships to the same status (call it “civil union” or “domestic partnership” or whatever) and lets churches of various stripes issue the “marriage” certificates, I’d be happy.  I won’t be standing with you defending the word “marriage” from yet another re-interpretation, but I’ll be there with you on any of the rest of it…

  29. The idea that the “tradition” of conventional marriage should be preserved is “laughable.”

    Traditions are made to be broken: Slavery, wife beating, wife ownership, whipping and dunking criminals, torture, dowries, parental selection of marriage partners, the in-electability of divorced presidential candidates, church weddings, treating religious leaders as gods.

  30. The idea that the “tradition” of conventional marriage should be preserved is “laughable.”

    Traditions are made to be broken: Slavery, wife beating, wife ownership, whipping and dunking criminals, torture, dowries, parental selection of marriage partners, the unelectability of divorced presidential candidates, church weddings, treating religious leaders as gods, governing by tradition rather than by thinking.

  31. Well then let’s not stop at allowing gays to use the word marriage. Let’s go all out. My wife is jealous of my scoot, maybe I could marry it too. She is real sexy with a big motor, shiny wheels, and is very fast.
    I really love my three dogs. Could bring them in the loop too.
    I don’t love my job so maybe I could divorce it………..My boss is also my riding buddy but since I’m not of “that” persuasion I’ll not marry him.

    Quit your pushing for things that a vast minority want, down my throat. Accept what is offered and move on. Maybe as the years go on, conventional attitudes will soften and more changes can be made. But for now, drop the marriage issue please.

  32. I think I’m going to come out against that group ever marrying.  Marlon Brando should be remembered as the unique, remarkable individual he was, not by the number of members in some pseudo-clone group.  Besides, do we really want to promote a society of women looking like Brando?

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