More than 300 people turned out on the west side of the Colorado Capitol building today for a rally celebrating another victory for marriage, after state lawmakers killed a bill seeking to establish same-sex civil unions.
Legislators and pastors alike spoke at the gathering, urging pro-family advocates — who wore white T-shirts proclaiming “Loving All, Protecting Marriage” — to continue to stay vigilant and active.
Though a committee voted the bill down 5-4 along party lines Monday, it could re-emerge in a different form as long as the Legislature remains in a special session, which Gov. John Hickenlooper called after the civil-unions bill failed to reach the House floor for a vote last week.
“We thought this was over in 2006,” when voters passed an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, House Speaker Frank McNulty told the crowd, as a gay activist with an airhorn tried to drown him out. “We were wrong. It does not end here today. It will continue every time marriage is attacked.”
The attendees — holding signs saying the special session is “wasteful government spending” and calling on lawmakers to create “jobs, not civil unions” — ranged in age from retirees to schoolchildren, and included Catholics, Jews, evangelicals and some people of indeterminate belief systems.
“It’s frustrating to see the spin,” said Doris DePenning of Westminster, who came with her husband to cheer. “To say everyone in this state is behind civil unions is offensive. We plan to be as active as we can, because we know this will be back.”
State Rep. Robert Ramirez said that for every email or phone call he received from constituents asking him to pass the civil-unions legislation, he received 35 from people asking him not to.
A large contingent of supporters came from St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Centennial, a town on the southern outskirts of Denver. Their pastor, Father Andrew Kemberling, spoke extensively about how religious freedom must be protected.
“Marriage is a religious belief,” he told CitizenLink before the rally began. “People talk about it like it’s a social convention you can just hand out to anyone you want. It’s not. We will dilute what marriage is meant to be (if we pass laws creating civil unions or same-sex marriage). Marriage is an idea from God, and He gave it to us as a truth to be protected.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
See a list of polls on same-sex marriage and read the wording of the questions.
Read “What is Marriage?” by by Sherif Girgis, Robert George, and Ryan T. Anderson.
Watch a video titled “Why Is Marriage Important?” by John Piper.