Colorado Same-sex Marriage Ban Fails in House Committee

Efforts to put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage before Colorado voters failed on Tuesday - unable to pass the first round in the House Committee.

Supported by Representative Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud), the amendment defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Opponents of the bill called it discriminatory. Some questioned the necessity for the bill, arguing that Colorado’s Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 2000, already bans the recognition of same-sex marriage.

Supporters of the bill responded, saying that a constitutional amendment is needed to protect the state law against future court challenges.

According to the Associated Press, Lundberg defended the bill before the House Judiciary Committee, saying, “I’m not asking you to make the decision, I’m simply asking that we put this before the people of Colorado.”

Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing lasted only one hour, with five witnesses opposing the bill and only one witness supporting it.

The committee members voted along party lines, with 6 Democrats against and 5 Republicans for the proposed amendment.

Had it passed the legislature, the amendment would have been placed on the November 2006 ballot. Supporters of the bill have not given up hope, however, but expect to begin a petition drive to support a same-sex marriage ban for the 2006 ballot.