The minute we allow gay people to lead normal lives, they’ll want more. They’ll want equal rights, and we can’t have that.
That was the gist of the argument in the Colorado State Senate as Republicans filibustered to defeat a civil union bill that would have granted LGBT people the ability to do some things that heterosexual people do; like allowing the most trusted person in their lives be entrusted to make decisions; like adopting children; like fully providing for their families. The only thing it wouldn’t have allowed LGBT people to do is get married.
The bill’s demise was expected by Democrats, who have begun using the issue as a rallying cry to topple Republicans in the November elections. Republicans assigned the bill to the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, which voted 5-4 along party lines to kill the measure.
Obviously, the failure of the bill met with mixed feelings. Colorado’s Democratic Governor, John Hickenlooper, called the debate a “fundamental question of fairness and civil rights.”
Republicans based their argument on both ideological and democratic reasons, citing a 2006 vote against marriage equality. From the Denver Post:
Even committee member Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, who has a gay son, said he couldn’t vote for the bill. He cited the 2006 vote by Coloradans to ban gay marriage.
“What you’re asking me to do here is invalidate the vote of six years ago,” Coram said. “I’m concerned that the gay community is being used as a political pawn. For four years we had a Democrat governor, a Democrat House and a Democrat Senate. The issue never came up. It only came up when we got a split house.
“I think that’s wrong.”
Of course, what’s wrong is to say that rights are limited to only a certain segment of the population. What’s wrong is for religion for force its agenda upon the government and the people. Just as wrong is Coram’s rationale. A recent poll found that 72% of Coloradans supported civil unions.
One “couple” in Colorado is standing up for marriage equality, in front an altar. Bree Davies, a writer for Westword, an alternative newspaper in Denver, is going to marry her best friend, who is a gay man, and pitch the idea as a reality show.
After sitting through two recesses and a combined seven hours of debate and testimony before the House State Affairs Committee killed the civil unions bill last night, I left the Capitol with a numb ass and a heavy heart. But as I and other GLBTQ persons and allies face another year of Colorado legislative bigotry until the next go-round, there is bright side: My gay boyfriend Spencer and I have finally formulated the perfect pitch for a reality show! It’s going to be called Spencer and Bree Get Married, and it’s going to have all of the quirky twists and turns any other show about a fucked-up marriage has, except it’s better. Because he’s gay and I’m straight, and in Colorado, we are allowed to get married. Sounds crazy, right? Well, welcome to reality.
Together, Spencer and I are going to show the world what a union-like marriage in Colorado looks like — between a man and a woman. We may be disgusted by the idea of hugging each other naked (that’s what we call “sex”), but at least we can celebrate our “lifestyle choice” in public. And with the support and protections of Colorado state law.
Then again, I’m not sure if the idea of a love-filled but sexless marriage will get the point across in a country that whose compassionless people are trudging along in their own love-less and sexless marriages.