Colorado | Gay Marriage | News

Teen's Same-Sex Marriage Ballot Initiative Fails to Get Financial Support in Colorado

Mark Olmstead, a 19-year-old Colorado voter, who launched a campaign in July to try and get a ballot initative legalizing same-sex marriage on the state's ballot, has dropped his campaign after failing to get needed financial support, the OutFront Colorado reports:

Colorado Mark Olmstead, a sophomore at Seattle University, told Out Front Colorado he decided to withdrawal his initiative after not garnering enough fiscal support to fund it.

While there was an outpouring of individuals who said they’d help collect signatures, since being cleared by the state to collect signatures July 20 no organization or person came forward with cash to help Olmstead fund what would be a costly year-long campaign, Olmstead said.

“I realized this would be a very costly and time consuming campaign,” Olmstead said. “It would be very difficult to pull off by myself.”

In order to have had his question on the ballot, Omlstead would have needed to collect 86,105 signatures by January.

Colorado teen to drop marriage ballot initiative [outfront colorado]

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  1. Good for him for getting as far as he did. I'll bet we haven't heard the last of this young man.

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Sep 9, 2011 11:25:31 AM

  2. It's too bad he didn't get any funding. I'm actually a bit surprised to hear about this story, because no one in the local media ever even mentioned that someone was attempting to get signatures for an initiative. Maybe his real problem was in the publicity department. Still, better luck next time, we'll get marriage equality in Colorado eventually.

    Posted by: MikeM | Sep 9, 2011 11:36:11 AM

  3. When will we ever learn? Marriage and other citizenship rights are enshrined in the US Constitution, for Gay as well as Straight Americans. Affirming them is a process for the court system, not the ballot box! Civil Rights are NOT to be put to public vote! It is a dangerous activity to encourage.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Sep 9, 2011 11:49:26 AM

  4. I encourage Mr. Olmstead, in any future initiatives, to ask George Soros' Open Society Foundations for funding. From their mission statement: "[we] seek to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights...The Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities."

    Posted by: Skye Winspur | Sep 9, 2011 1:32:14 PM

  5. I commend his efforts but, strangely enough, this is the first time I'm even hearing about this story - and I live in Colorado. (I'd like to think that I'm tuned in to LGBT current events political or otherwise.)

    Perhaps if more space were devoted to issues such as these - and less to who's on what magazine cover (because really who gives a sh*t) things like this wouldn't happen. Granted, it's up to us to make progress happen - but if we can't fully support a teenager, who is trying to do the work his elders aren't, by getting the message out there - then we're screwed.

    Posted by: Steven | Sep 9, 2011 2:30:52 PM

  6. Theres more to the story. ONE Colorado refused to participate and fund the intitiative because it was "too expensive"

    Posted by: Will | Sep 9, 2011 2:53:10 PM

  7. Local advocacy groups were not encouraging of Mr. Olmstead's efforts because polls in Colorado do not yet show strong enough support for marriage equality to warrant spending millions on a campaign which might very well lead only to a defeat. Advocacy groups have determined that their efforts are for the time being better focused on securing civil unions, which were blocked by Republicans in the state legislature earlier this year. If next year Oregon, Maine and Minnesota turn the tide of how these ballot initiatives have to date turned out, I wouldn't be surprised to see our side emboldened to go before voters in states like Colorado thereafter.

    Stuffed Animal, sure in a perfect world the rights of all minorities would be recognized as not being subject to the whims of majorities. However, that's not the world in which we find ourselves. Do you view the New York legislature's passage of a marriage equality bill this summer (the legislators are the people's representatives) as an unwelcome development since it did not occur as the result of a court decree? The fact is that each state is different depending on the current composition of its legislature and its supreme court, its governor and current popular opinion. There are some states where our best opportunities to advance marriage equality will be through legislatures or votes of the people (a sign of how far the tide has swung in our favor) and we should not allow rigid principles to hold us back from seizing those opportunities.

    There is an even more fundamental reason why courts are of limited use in cases such as Colorado. Since anti-gay discrimination has already been written into the state's constitution, there is nothing the Colorado Supreme Court can do to usher marriage equality into Colorado. Only a federal court can trump the state's constitution and it may well be in some states where that is the case (see Oregon perhaps) that our prospects for a popular vote in our favor are strong enough that we shouldn't wait what could be years for a favorable ruling from a federal court.

    Posted by: Patric | Sep 9, 2011 3:21:45 PM

  8. Thats a damn shame with mega-wealthy Tim Gill sitting on his ass, closing down connexion to pursue more political matters and wont even help out this kid.

    Posted by: Drew | Sep 12, 2011 1:18:19 PM

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