Amendment 43 allows voters to decide whether gay couples can marry
Voters will decide in November if there can be two tuxedoed men on a wedding cake or just one, as marriage and same-sex relationships are on the ballot.
Amendment 43, one of the 14 ballot measures put to Colorado voters Nov. 7, is a proposal to change the Colorado Constitution to define marriage as only the union between a man and a woman. This would make it unconstitutional to be joined as a same-sex couple.
“We have the right as a society to determine what marriage is,” said Jeff Crank, a candidate for Congress. “If we do not change the Constitution, it will only be a matter of time before an activist judge imposes his will on the people of Colorado.”
The marriage relationship provides spouses with various legal rights and benefits in Colorado. These include but are not limited to the ability to file income taxes jointly, make medical decisions for each other and collect benefits like life insurance without being named as a beneficiary.
Referendum I is also on the ballot. If it passes in the upcoming election, it would create a new legal relationship called a domestic partnership. It would allow same-sex couples to obtain the legal protections and benefits now granted to married couples in the state.
One of the main opponents to this referendum is the group Focus on the Family, whose headquarters are located in Colorado Springs.
“It is the equivalent to gay marriage,” said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior policy analyst for the group.
Proponents of the measure, like Sean Duffy of Coloradoans for Fairness, say the law is broken because it does not allow for the rights of same-sex couples.
“If the law is broken, let’s make changes in it where everyone benefits,” Earll said, “not just same-sex couples.”
Students on campus voiced their opinion regarding Amendment 43 and Referendum I.
“You’re not using the Constitution for its intended purpose,” said Jesse Hogue, a junior political science major. “It should not be used to limit rights.”
“It surprises me that the current law disallows what I would consider human rights,” said Avedan Raggio, a junior classical studies and humanities major. “Why punish people by denying them rights because of who they are?”
Raggio identifies herself as being bisexual and wonders why some people cannot just let others love those they want.
Freshman molecular cellular developmental biology and studio art major Ashley Kozlowski said, “Human rights should be for everyone.”