An Update on Marriage Equality Efforts

The following message went out from our Executive Director, Dave Montez, on Friday, January 24, 2014 in an email to our supporters:

As we’ve all seen, the past several months have provided a huge boost in momentum to secure the freedom to marry all across the country. And with One Colorado working to win marriage equality right here in the Centennial State, I want to share a quick update on where things stand.

We’ve been watching the two marriage cases in Utah and Oklahoma that are making their way to the federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Colorado. While both of these states’ marriage fights are far from over, we’ve already learned one important lesson from Utah: it’s imperative that we have elected leaders at the state level who will stand up for the freedom to marry, rather than deliberately send hundreds of families into legal limbo. 

We’ve also spent time hearing from you. At the end of last year, we wrapped up our 10-week, 18-city Pathway to Marriage tour, where we spoke to hundreds of LGBT Coloradans and allies in communities across the state. During this tour, many of you shared your thoughts and your reservations – and you made it clear that above all, it is vital that we get this right for thousands of families across Colorado.

We have multiple paths available to overturn our state’s constitutional ban on marriage equality, which could happen either through the courts or by a vote of the people. We are pursuing all possibilities right now. Our goal is to achieve the freedom to marry for all Coloradans as quickly as possible. We also want to make sure that our victory endures.

Both pathways to victory require different strategies. However, there is one element they both share: the need for a robust public education campaign that reaches every corner of our state. Victories in other states have proven that our families’ stories of love and commitment connect with people in a profound way. We must talk to folks about why marriage matters to all Coloradans – gay and straight alike – and why civil unions don’t give our families the full protection and dignity they need.

Why does this educational work need to happen now? Because when this issue is finally decided at the ballot box or in the courthouse, we need to have built as much support for marriage equality as possible here in Colorado. Creating that climate is critical to winning – but also keeping – the freedom to marry. There’s a difference between having a civil union or marriage license, and feeling comfortable enough to put a picture of your spouse on your desk at work.

Our families can’t wait. So, while we decide on the path that will achieve and maintain the freedom to marry as quickly as possible, One Colorado is going to continue doing the important work of talking to our friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to keep building public support for marriage, one conversation at a time.

But one thing is certain: we can’t do this work without all of you. As we launch more actions, online activities, and local events over the next several weeks, we need each and every one of you to show up. We’ll need your energy, your time, and your powerful voices to win this fight.

One way or another, marriage equality is coming to Colorado – it’s not a question of “if,” only a matter of when and how.

In the meantime, make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed. We’ll be reaching out to you to help contribute to this fight, so stay tuned and thank you for making our work possible!