Nearly 1,000 protest gay marriage ban in Denver
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
DENVER ” Nearly 1,000 people gathered in Denver on Saturday to protest California’s same-sex marriage ban.
The peaceful demonstration outside the City and County Building featured speakers and live music and was timed to coincide with protests across the country.
As people held signs with slogans such as “Love is all you need” and “It’s a contract not a sacrament”, Monica Ward held a copy of her California marriage license. She and her partner, Natascha Seideneck, wed at San Francisco’s city hall on Nov. 3, the day before California voters passed Proposition 8. It overruled a May court ruling in May that had legalized same-sex marriage.
“The day after they said this isn’t real. That’s why I’m here,” she said.
Ward, 38, said the couple had planned to marry in October to celebrate their fourth anniversary of their partnership and “to make it real” but had to wait until the day before Election Day because so many other couples had already scheduled their weddings last month. She said they were prepared to sue if their marriage was nullified by the passage of the measure.
Their marriage isn’t recognized in Colorado, where voters passed a gay marriage ban in 2006, but Ward hopes it will be someday.
Gay-marriage proponents have filed three court challenges against the new California ban. They’ve also called for a boycott of Utah’s ski resorts and the Sundance Film Festival to punish the Mormon church for its support for the ban.
Colorado was torn apart a decade ago by a debate over gay discrimination after voters passed Amendment 2, which barred cities from passing anti-discrimination laws to protect gay people. Conventions were canceled and some threatened to boycott the state after its passage in 1992. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the law four years later.
In 2006, Colorado voters passed an amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. They also rejected a proposal to allow domestic partnerships statewide.
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Local fire officials in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are heightening their fire concerns, and starting this week Stage 1 fire restrictions will be enacted. Stage 1 means no campfires in undeveloped sites, no fireworks and no smoking outside unless it’s in an area cleared of all combustible materials.