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Colorado Republicans ramp up debate regarding marriage amendment

Colorado Republicans ramp up debate regarding marriage amendment

A Republican-led news conference Thursday calling for a voter-approved ban on gay marriage included a sharp exchange after a state lawmaker brought up bestiality as he said the issue needed to be addressed. Republican representative Rep. Jim Welker of Loveland said voters need to draw the line on what marriage is and noted that a woman in India had married her dog a year and a half ago. Democratic representative Angie Paccione confronted Welker. "Come on, Jim. It's not the same--it's not the same to have someone marry a dog than it is to have two loving people get married," she said. Paccione said the "moderate majority" that elected Democrats to power at the capitol last fall wants lawmakers to focus on "kitchen table" issues like jobs, education, and health care and not same-sex marriage. The child of a biracial couple, she also bristled at denying citizens rights because of their sexual orientation, saying it was once illegal for blacks and whites to marry. The news conference was led by Republican representative Kevin Lundberg, who said protecting traditional marriage is the "most significant domestic issue of the decade." He said the legislature should give voters a chance to vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. He is expected to introduce a resolution backing the amendment in a few days but admits the chances of getting the necessary two-thirds support to get it on the ballot are "dim." Last year Lundberg failed to get a majority of members in the Republican-controlled house to back GOP congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave's proposed gay marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. "The question before us today is, Will the time-honored institution of marriage between one man and one woman remain as the core institution for our great nation, or will unelected judges reduce the legal definition of marriage to any combination of anyone?" Lundberg asked.

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