Another Premeditated Killing Of Civil Unions In Colorado; A Crisis In Democracy
Wednesday May 09th 2012, 12:36 am
Filed under: Denver, Liberty!

Due to a commendable number of Republicans in our House of Representatives, Colorado finally had enough legislative votes to pass a civil unions bill. The bill passed through the Senate, passed through the necessary committees, despite some difficulties, and it had the support of the Governor, who had pledged to sign it. All of this accurately represented a recent poll that suggests as many as two-thirds of all Coloradans support same-sex civil unions.

Last week, while listening to the legislative debate, I was amused that many of those debating on behalf of the civil unions bill and many debating against it shared the same argument: “it will lead to gay marriage.” Although there is no bill about it currently making its way through the legislature, marriage equality also has strong support among Coloradans. It is one of my greatest desires that there be marriage equality–the right of any loving couple to marry, regardless of their gender–in my beloved state (and my beloved country, for that matter). However, I have come to recognize the reality that, often times, even the most important things in life move forward with frustratingly tiny steps. This bill wasn’t quite a leap, but it was a good stride.

Yet, a stride that will not be taken, despite all of its popular support. Colorado will continue to withhold a basic human right from homosexual couples, yet again, because of a handfull of Representatives.

In any likely scenario, the civil unions bill wasn’t expected to be around for long. In the first scenario, the bill would pass through the House and be signed by the Governor, whereupon it would break free of its legislative cocoon and blossom into a beautiful law. In the other scenario, the bill would not be voted upon in the House by Midnight MDT, Tuesday night, and it would simply die. The latter scenario won out as Republicans in control the House of Representatives spent Tuesday filibustering, ensuring that the bill would not be put to a vote. When this tactic seemed as if it might falter, they used their grossest and most forthright machination to make sure the clock on civil unions would run out: they called a two-hour recess at 9:16 PM.

Throughout this great nation, we are facing a crisis that is chipping away at the very foundation of democracy: groups of citizens being prevented from voting because someone in power doesn’t like what those votes would be. These Republican Representatives prevented any vote on the civil unions bill because they personally disagree with what they knew the outcome of the vote would have been, because they personally disagree with a majority of Representatives in the House, including several Republicans standing on the proper side of history, and because they personally disagree with a majority of Coloradans, who they were elected to represent.

In title they are called such, but in action, are these people truly “Representatives?”

I’m proud to be a Coloradan, and I believe this is one of the greatest states in the Union. But this night in Colorado, when looked back upon through the lens of history, will be seen as nothing short of embarrassing. An embarrassing misstep in Colorado’s democratic process and an embarrassing insight into the lengths that some Coloradans will go to in order to continue mistreating one another.

–Reid.


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