Denver archbishop Charles Chaput celebrated the defeat of the Colorado civil unions bill in his weekly column and asked Catholics to thank the Republican house committee members who voted to defeat the bill. The Colorado Independent reports on the column from the archbishop, who said the civil unions bill was not about securing basic rights for "homosexual persons" because those rights are already guaranteed under law.
"The civil unions debate is finally about securing legitimacy for social arrangements and personal behaviors that most societies and religious traditions have found problematic from long experience -- and that a great many people see as morally troubling, not because they are 'haters' or 'frightened' or 'bigots' or 'uneducated' -- that kind of language is the real bigotry in this debate -- but because they've carefully thought through the implications for society at large," wrote Chaput.
The archbishop said the recent civil unions debate demonstrated that "the mass media, the courts and aggressive special interests" would continue to ignore "the will of the people." A majority of Coloradans voted for a constitutional amendment against marriage equality in 2006 and also voted down a ballot initiative that would have allowed domestic partnerships, which are equivalent to civil unions.
The Colorado senate approved the civil unions bill last month in a bipartisan vote, but six Republicans in the house judidiciary committee later voted against advancing the bill in their chamber.