Monday, July 15, 2013
After DOMA, Prop 8. Rulings: A Little Less Conversation; A Little More Action, Please
By Todd Craig
A few weeks have passed since the Supreme Court rulings against DOMA and Prop 8. In that time, states across the union have jumped at the opportunity to further the cause of marriage equality. Gay groups in Illinois, which has a civil unions law and a gay marriage ban, are legally challenging the second-class status such laws mandate.
In Pennsylvania, the A.C.L.U. has challenged the legality of that state’s gay marriage ban, using the Supreme Court’s rulings as the template to dismantle the discriminatory statute.
And in Colorado? Well, we’re apparently listening to the crickets chirping.
In a July 2 article published in OutFront, One Colorado director Brad Clark outlined the vision for Colorado’s main LGBT advocacy group’s path towards marriage equality: town hall meetings this fall “… aimed at discussing the path forward.”
Let me get this straight (pun intended): While other states already have lawsuits in motion fighting for marriage equality, our primary political lobbying group here in Colorado is planning meetings to discuss what to do?
Does anybody else feel let down by this?
Sure, One Colorado wants to be deliberate here. They know that we lost an election before, and they clearly don’t want to lose again. Although in retrospect, 2006 might as well have been 1956 for all of the change that has happened since, and the polls certainly would agree.
To be critical, it’s obvious that other states and their LGBT groups have already held their discussions and have decided that now is the time to act. In Colorado, I guess talking about acting is supposed to be as good as acting itself.
I realize that our gay marriage ban is written into the state constitution, and I get that no such ban has ever been overturned in the history of our country. It’s a big task; I get that. I really do.
But what I also realize is that the Colorado’s constitution has been changed over 150 times. From a legal standpoint, we have one of the most easily amendable constitutions in the country. On the day after the Supreme Court’s rulings, the Denver Post reported that a ballot measure to void the amendment in question could be easily held by gathering just more than 85,000 signatures statewide.
So yeah ... shouldn’t we get started on that?
I realize that elections are expensive and require man-power, money, and coordination in massive doses.
Elections may be expensive, but talk is cheap.
I realize you need to have political networks, savvy leadership, a vision for success, and the wherewithal to make it happen.
I thought that maybe we already had that in place based on the political victories extolled by One Colorado in the legislature and in last November’s elections. They certainly had no qualms celebrating the Supreme Court’s rulings by sending out a series of fundraising emails, one of which from Brad Clark featured the line: “But there’s something else we know – something that gives us incredible hope today. We know that in every corner of this state, Coloradans have shown they are ready for a conversation about why marriage matters to all couples – straight and gay alike. And in the coming weeks and months, we must come together as a community to ensure that conversation is carried out.”
Lovely prose, I suppose. But if Coloradoans are so ready to have the conversation about marriage equality to the point where we’re encouraged to donate our hard-earned dollars to the cause, why are we so not ready to have an election or to file a lawsuit? What have Pennsylvania and Illinois got, that Colorado doesn’t?
Besides quick and decisive action on the marriage equality front, that is?
Here in Colorado with nothing but talk on the horizon, we’re left to watch and wait and settle for second rate. Apparently, while other states have coordinated their efforts into action, all that we LGBT Coloradans can look forward to this fall is discussing a path forward.
Someone once said that talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand. In the more colorful parts of Colorado, talk is all we’re getting on marriage equality from our own LGBT political leadership, despite our low demand for it.
Perhaps then, when supplied something lesser, it’s time to demand better.
Labels: gay Denver, MileHighGayGuy, LGBT Denver DOMA, Marriage Equality, One Colorado, OP/ED, Prop 8., Todd Craig