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Colorado Lesbian Couple Files Suit to Overturn State's Marriage Ban

Burns2 Burns_schroder_2

Kate Burns and Sheila Schroeder of Englewood, Colorado, who were arrested last year on September 24 (above) after demanding a marriage license and holding a sit-in at the Denver Clerk's office, have filed suit in Denver County court, asking it to throw out the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

According to the Rocky Mountain News, "Their attorney, Mari Newman, said the case reminds her of laws that used to outlaw interracial marriage but were declared unconstitutional. 'The right to marriage is fundamental,' Newman said. 'The government can't be telling us who we can and cannot marry.' The lawsuit claims Amendment 43, which 56 percent of voters approved in 2006, is unconstitutional on several grounds, including it was 'religiously motivated' and has the effect 'of establishing religion.' Rep. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, who helped put the amendment on the ballot, laughed at that argument. 'If that's the case,' he said, 'we can throw out most of our laws because most are based on some moral perspective, and you could argue that is a religious foundation. We could even throw in the Declaration of Independence on those grounds: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights . . . Creator.' He called the suit frivolous."

Burns and Schroeder are scheduled to appear in court on the trespassing charge for their sit-in this week.

Women sue over marriage law [rocky mountain news]
Couple asks court to overturn gay marriage ban [denver post]

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  1. I wasn't there when the Declaration was written, but I think that the references to deity meant that the only power we're subordinate to is God and not the king.

    Our laws are more or less based on so-called "judeo-christian" "morality," but the laws we have now are so functionally autonomous from the laws that sustained a desert/agrarian nomadic society as to be little more than words evoked to wield power. There's a huge difference in my mind from "religiously motivated" to putting a sex offender in jail, though.

    Those women rock. Best of luck to 'em.

    Posted by: justincredible | Feb 12, 2008 10:46:42 AM

  2. I wish the best of luck to them. It sounds like their voice is strong, may it also be wise.

    Posted by: lis | Feb 12, 2008 11:26:46 AM

  3. Well maybe someone can correct me here but I thought the Declaration of Independence was just a declaration of war against England and it has nothing to do with the Constitution which is the foundation for our government and its laws.

    Also, religion and morality are not contingent of each other.

    Posted by: 1♥ | Feb 12, 2008 12:03:46 PM

  4. I'm so proud of them! Over the weekend I saw Mathew Shepard's mother on C-Span giving a lecture and one (of several) powerful moments was her vociferous support of marriage rights for gays. These Denver lesbians are awesome for their courage to step up & claim it.

    Posted by: Daniel | Feb 12, 2008 5:41:49 PM

  5. Interesting that Rep Lundberg's own quotation from the Declaration of Independence condemns him. The very text "all men are created equal... with certain unalienable rights" should cause him to think about his actions to restrict those very rights.

    Posted by: Josh | Feb 13, 2008 2:07:43 AM

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