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Marriage Equality Ballot Measure Pushed in Colorado

Marriage Equality Ballot Measure Pushed in Colorado

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Students in Colorado aim to put a proposal for marriage equality in the 2012 state ballot, but not everyone agrees with the timing.

The Associated Press reports on the language, which, if approved by a state title review board next week, would be put to voters next year if supporters collect the required 86,000 signatures.

"The proposal would reverse a 2006 amendment that said only a union of one man and one woman would be a valid marriage," according to the AP. "That language would be replaced with a sentence saying, 'Marriage will have the same requirements and effects regardless of whether the parties are the same or different sex.'"

Sponsors include Mark Olmstead, a 19-year-old college student inspired by the recent passage of the marriage equality law in New York. Their effort follows an attempt to remove the constitutional amendment in 2010 that failed to garner enough signatures.

According to the AP, gay rights groups including One Colorado continue to believe the issue should be addressed by the legislature. An attempt to pass civil unions legislation failed in the Republican-controlled House earlier this year. One Colorado said it was focused on improving the chances for civil unions in the legislature.

Pat Steadman, the openly gay state senator who sponsored the civil unions bill that passed in his chamber, told the AP that he did not think the timing was auspicious for a ballot measure on marriage equality next year.

"I don't know that next year is really the right time to go after this issue in the Colorado constitution," he said. "It's an important election cycle and I think a lot of resources are going to be directed elsewhere."

Amendment 43, the 2006 ballot measure against marriage equality, passed with approval from 55% of Colorado voters.

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