What Overruling the Defense Against Marriage Act Means in Colorado
The ruling by the Supreme Court overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 has no immediate effect on Colorado.
Colorado has not had a history of being particularly open to gay marriage as evidenced by its past legislature. In 1992, Amendment 2 was passed, which blocked homosexuals as being treated as a minority group with protected statutes. However, In 1994, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Amendment 2 was unconstitutional by affirming a lower court’s ruling, and in 1996, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Amendment 2 was unconstitutional. Additionally, in 2006, an amendment was passed in Colorado identifying marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Most recently, in 2012, a civil union bill died in the Colorado House at the hands of Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty without even being heard. Colorado does currently recognize state rights for same sex relationships as civil unions, but at the same time denies these people from being legally married.
The future of gay marriage is unclear in Colorado, but it seems as if this will be a very hot topic in the immediate future, given the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, and the question remains as to whether Colorado’s same sex laws are constitutional under this ruling.