At the end of every legislative session for the past three years there has been a last-minute rush to get a very bad bill passed: and the House Republican leadership--Amy Stephens and Frank McNulty--have been pivotal in making it happen.
This year that bill is civil unions.
As you might guess, it is opposed by a range of religious and pro-family groups. Here is a statement from the Colorado Catholic Conference:
"The Colorado Catholic Conference is deeply disappointed by the action of the House Judiciary Committee that voted 6-5 to pass civil unions legislation out of committee on Thursday evening (5-3-2012). The bill now moves to the House Finance committee....
The key flaw with civil union legislation is that it creates an alternative parallel structure to marriage.
Civil union legislation contradicts the will of the people of Colorado, who in 2006 chose to reject Referendum I, the equivalent of civil unions and supported Amendment 43 which enshrined in our constitution the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Traditional marriage is the cornerstone of our society that exists for the benefit of children and the protection of women."
If that were all that is going on it would be bad enough. But while the civil unions bill is getting all the attention, another, more sinister bill, is on a fast track to approval. Again, from the Catholic Conference:
"SCR12-1 has literally snuck through our state legislature without opposition. This bill will open the door to give preferential and special treatment to the GLBisexual community. It's under the radar and will remain there unless it is exposed TODAY!
The gay lobby in Denver is counting on passing this Referendum which will go on the ballot in November. It does not have to go through the amendment petition process with signatures. The Legislature just votes, it passes, and it goes on the ballot. The Referendum gives them cover. Everything is under the disguise of just 'cleaning up' miscellaneous old and now 'obsolete bills'- even if they are amendments to our state constitution voted on and passed by the people of Colorado.
When the Referendum passes it will give them an even better chance for passage of civil unions legislation in the 2012- 2013 session. The pro-gay lobby will frame the argument as a housekeeping measure and most people will buy it. Now we have to do whatever we can to expose this latest maneuver and have the House STOP the Referendum (SCR12-1) from going forward."
As you may know, there are two ways to get something on the ballot. One is by the citizens who must collect signatures on petitions. The other is a legislative resolution--which this is. Under the guise of cleaning up "obsolete provisions" in the state constitution this resolution is guaranteed to be on November's ballot. How many people reading the brief statement on the ballot will know what they're voting for?
Remember the furor over term limits for county offices in El Paso county? Same idea. Sneak one past the voters.
If SCR12-1 passes out of the House--even if the civil unions bill dies this time--you can be sure that civil unions will come up again next term.
Can this be stopped? Maybe, but Amy Stephens and Frank McNulty have already let the two best opportunities pass. The first opportunity is to assign the bill to a committee that will kill it. They didn't. The second is to remove members from the committee who will vote for it. This is not uncommon but they didn't do that either.
Note that while constructively guiding the bill through the legislative process, both can say they're against the bill and that they "didn't vote for it."
They and your representatives need to hear from you now. Remind them that the Colorado Republican Party platform supports traditional marriage and not civil unions. Ask them why self-described conservatives would support civil unions.
Be sure to talk to a person; leaving a message won't do it. Sources tell me they didn't return phone calls when the Vatican called. Imagine what chance you have.