Colorado Ballot Measure Attempts To Override Marriage Ruling

Let this be a lesson to us all: Even when it seems like the fight is over, someone’s always willing to try and turn the clock back on us.

The Denver capitol building. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.
The Denver capitol building. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

From the state that brought you legalized marijuana comes a ballot measure with the sole intent of overriding the ruling of the highest court in the nation. According to an article in The Denver Post, two ballot initiatives were filed Thursday, July 2 relating to the same-sex marriage ruling issued by the Supreme Court. The first would redefine all past, present, and future same-sex marriages in Colorado as civil unions, and the second would allow wedding-related businesses of?same-sex marriage opponents to hire contractors to do these jobs for them. Both measures were introduced by?Gene Straub and Attorney D’Arcy Straub from Littleton, CO. The Denver Post was unable to reach either of them for comment.

The first initiative, which would redefine same-sex marriages as civil unions, would be the most direct attempt to override the Supreme Court’s decision. Colorado?Gov. John Hickenlooper signed civil unions into law in 2013 as an alternative to marriage when the same-sex marriage bill was defeated earlier that year. Civil unions are not marriages, however, as they lack several benefits marriages do, such as certain healthcare, tax, and recognition benefits. The apparent goal is to present a false face of “separate-but-equal,” which is a historically flawed premise in the first place. A quote of the text of the initiative, provided by The Denver Post, reads as follows:

“A marriage is recognized as a form of religious expression of the people of Colorado that shall not be abridged through the state prescribing or recognizing any law that implicitly or explicitly defines a marriage in opposition or agreement with any particular religious belief.”

Personally, I’d like to introduce the Straubs to the Supremacy Clause.

The second initiative’s goal is to permit businesses in wedding-related fields, presumably including florists, bakers, and photographers, to hire contractors to operate in their place if asked to provide services to a same-sex marriage ceremony. The exact goal of this particular initiative is unclear, though one hypothesis suggests that the measure would allow said businesses to pass the costs of hiring a contractor onto the customer, effectively creating a loophole that would allow businesses to charge same-sex couples more for services than their opposite-sex counterparts. This is, however, speculation, and will not be clear until more of the ballot initiative is clarified on July 16.

The two initiatives appear to be little more than blustering from the losing side of this ridiculous war. A?segment?of the population?feels persecuted when they can’t impose their religion on the rest of the country, so they?keep throwing conniption fits?in the form of?shady legal maneuvers and crazy extremist theories. Neither ballot initiative is likely to successfully overthrow a Supreme Court decision, so it is this reporter’s opinion that Colorado has little to worry about for the moment.

David Pham is a proud Gaytheist and Gaymer, and an Iraq Veteran who staunchly supports LGBT rights and the separation of church and state. When not reading or researching, he's usually found with his nose in his Kindle or Wii U Gamepad. He studies Psychology with the intent to provide therapy to Veterans and teach at the college level.