Civil Unions Get Second Chance in Colorado as Governor Hickenlooper Calls Special Session of Legislature
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said he'll call lawmakers into a special legislative session Wednesday to resolve a bill supporting civil unions for same-sex couples, along with several other bills. Hickenlooper's announcement on the final day of the 2012 regular session was sparked by what he called an "overwhelming need" to discuss the civil unions measure. It died late Tuesday on legislative maneuvering from the GOP. Hickenlooper said he'd announce the details of the special session Thursday.
Added Hickenlooper: “We need to have an open discussion of the issue and at least work toward a final resolution. We (will) allow people a chance to vote on it, and move forward.”
Adding to remarks in Denver prior to the Obama interview confirming his opposition to same-sex marriage and civil unions, Mitt Romney told press in Oklahoma later this afternoon that his views had not changed:
"My view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman and that's my own preference. I know other people have differing views. This is a very tender and sensitive topic, as are many social issues, but I have the same view that I've had since running for office."
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Fallout of legislative implosion over Colorado Civil Union bill examined: "The bill's death also infuriated Tim Gill, a Democrat gay activist who has used his immense wealth to champion gay causes and get liked-minded candidates elected to state legislatures across the country, notably in Colorado. 'It is unfortunate that Republican leaders chose to ignore the many personal stories of committed, loving couples who simply want to be treated fairly under our laws," Gill, of Denver, said today in a statement. "Using parliamentary gimmicks to kill the civil unions bill does not represent the Colorado that we all know and love.'"
Gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans weighs in on today's Obama announcement:
“That the president has chosen today, when LGBT Americans are mourning the passage of Amendment One, to finally speak up for marriage equality is offensive and callous,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “Log Cabin Republicans appreciate that President Obama has finally come in line with leaders like Vice President Dick Cheney on this issue, but LGBT Americans are right to be angry that this calculated announcement comes too late to be of any use to the people of North Carolina, or any of the other states that have addressed this issue on his watch. This administration has manipulated LGBT families for political gain as much as anybody, and after his campaign’s ridiculous contortions to deny support for marriage equality this week he does not deserve praise for an announcement that comes a day late and a dollar short.”
Equality Matters reports: "Fox Nation’s post linked to a Yahoo News article on Obama’s announcement, which ran the headline 'Obama declares support for gay marriage.'"
Fox News anchor Shep Smith responded to President Barack Obama's shift on same-sex marriage this afternoon with a characteristically dry zinger:
"The President of the United States, now in the 21st century."
Smith later asked if the GOP would continue to use same-sex marriage as a wedge campaign issues "while sitting firmly, without much question, on the wrong side of history on it."
President Obama today endorsed marriage equality in an ABC News interview with Robin Roberts after the White House experienced a tumultuous three days of questioning by the press spurred by Vice President Joe Biden's Meet the Press remarks on Sunday. Biden remarked that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay people marrying, a statement that took him to the left of the President, who has said since he took office that he is "evolving" on the issue.
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."
Added the President:
“It’s interesting, some of this is also generational. You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same sex equality or, you know, believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”
The President also cited his faith in the announcement and the influence of First Lady Michelle Obama:
“This is something that, you know, we’ve talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president.”
More clips of the interview are scheduled to air this evening on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer and ABC's Good Morning America Thursday.
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Obama's position on the issue up till this point has been seen as a purely political one, and has been dogged by a 1996 survey he filled out as a candidate for the Illinois state senate in 1996, which stated "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages."
ABC News posted a timeline on Obama's marriage evolution.