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Same-sex marriage opponents propose two Colorado ballot measures

Same-sex marriage opponents propose two Colorado ballot measures


DENVER — Opponents of same-sex marriage have proposed two Colorado ballot measures in response to the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide.

One measure would redefine same-sex marriages in Colorado as civil unions. A second initiative would allow wedding-related businesses opposed to same-sex marriage to hire a contractor to serve same-sex couples.

The ballot measures were filed Thursday by Gene Straub and D’Arcy Straub, both of Littleton, The Denver Post reported. They did not return calls from the Post for comment on the measures.

It’s not clear whether the measures would meet legal muster. The Straubs are scheduled to meet with state Legislative Council staff July 16 to review the proposed ballot language.

Each measure would need about 98,000 signatures from registered voters to get the measure on the ballot in 2016.

The proposed constitutional amendment regarding civil unions states, “A marriage is recognized as a form of religious expression of the people of Colorado that shall not be abridged through the state prescribing or recognizing any law that implicitly or explicitly defines a marriage in opposition or agreement with any particular religious belief.”

Any same-sex couple married before the proposed amendment takes effect or in another state would have their relationship redefined as a civil union, which carries some but not all of the legal rights of marriage.

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The second measure would require the state to maintain a list of businesses willing to provide services to same-sex and transgender couples, so that those opposed could contract with them.

Dave Montez, the executive director of One Colorado, the state’s largest advocacy group for gay rights, said the civil unions proposal “is an unnecessary attempt to radically redefine all marriages in Colorado in order to undermine the Supreme Court’s recent decision.”

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