February 10, 2009 10:19 AM
Same-sex marriage back on the ballot?
Inspired by Kristi Burton's success at putting a "fetus is a person" amendment on the state ballot last year, a pair of young people are attempting to get a measure on the 2010 ballot that would legalize same-sex marriage.
Stu Allen, of Lakewood, and a high school friend, Hallie Atencio, of Denver, are the proponents of a ballot measure that would change the state constitution to recognize marriage as a union between two consenting adults.
"I don't think there should be gender-specific laws when it comes to marriage in Colorado - or anywhere," Allen said. "It seems like a civil rights issue."
He said he believes gays should have the same rights he and his girlfriend of seven years, Crystal Russell, would enjoy if they got married.
Allen is scheduled to meet today with the legislative staff for a "review and comment session" on his proposal. That's the second of many steps to get a proposal on the ballot.
If the measure makes it to the 2010 ballot and is approved, depending on the final language, it could override Amendment 43, the successful 2006 initiative that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman in the state constitution.
Voters that same year rejected Referendum I, which would have granted gay and lesbian couples many of the legal rights and responsibilities of married couples, such as the ability to make funeral arrangements for a partner and to inherit a partner's property.