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Judge: Colorado gay marriage ban unconstitutional

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DENVER -- A judge in Colorado has struck down the state's gay marriage ban.

District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree on Wednesday ruled the 2006 voter-approved ban violates the state and federal constitutions. He immediately put his ruling on hold pending an appeal.

Crabtree is the 16th judge to void a state's gay marriage ban since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that the federal government has to recognize gay marriages in the states.

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News release from Freedom to Marry:

Republican-Appointed State Judge Overturns Colorado’s Marriage Ban

New York – Today Adams County District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree struck down Colorado’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, becoming the latest of more than 20 federal and state judges to rule in favor of the freedom to marry in recent months. Judge Crabtree was appointed by Republican Governor Bill Owens in June 2001. The ruling was immediately stayed pending appeal.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

“Yet another court has concluded that there is no good reason for denying gay couples the freedom to marry, and has found marriage discrimination unconstitutional. It is time that Colorado’s gay couples and their loved ones be able to share in the joy and security that marriage brings, and time for the Supreme Court to bring the freedom to marry home nationwide. Every day of denial is a day of wrongful deprivation. Today’s latest victory in the Mountain West shows that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry ”

Same-sex couples can marry in 19 states and the District of Columbia, meaning that 44% of Americans now live in states where gay couples share in the freedom to marry. Recent polling by the Washington Post/ABC News shows 59% of Americans support the freedom to marry, while other polling shows that the support includes a majority of young evangelicals and Republicans under 45.

In total, 24 rulings in recent months have found that bans on marriage for same-sex couples are unconstitutional.

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Strikes me there is a much more obvious solution. One that is equitable to everyone - including single people - and is much, much more in keeping with the Constitutional restriction on government endorsing any religion.

Remove government from the control of marriage completely.

Think about the words 'rights' and 'benefits' and the meanings and connotations that go with those words.

Think about how the government is involved in the 'rights' and 'benefits' of marriage. More importantly, think about 'why' the government is involved at all.

Right now the government extends 'benefits' to married people. That gives the government the right to say who is considered 'married' - and who isn't. Who qualifies for the 'benefits' and who doesn't.

People who are against same-sex marriage are being disingenuous when they fall back on secular claims for the definition of 'marriage.' If it is a secular issue, then the government should not be extending marriage benefits - it is not the place of the government to condone one religion over another, let alone provide benefits for a secular arrangement. (What some call separation of church and state.) They are also being disingenuous by accepting those benefits while saying others should not. But you don't hear anyone saying they want to give up those 'benefits' do you? They just don't want others to have them.

On the other hand, pro-gay marriage people are also being disingenuous when they say it is about the 'right' to marry. It isn't really - be honest. It is about the 'benefits' of marriage. All the court cases to date have discussed the inequality of government denying 'benefits' to those who do not meet the government definition of 'married.' If it were only about the 'right' to marry, anybody could say they were married, have any kind of ceremony they choose, and live as spouses - without permission of the government. No one will arrest them and lock them up. It only becomes a potentially criminal activity when they claim (or try to claim) the 'benefits' of marriage. It isn't honest to say you are only seeking 'equality' for everyone when you don't really care about a very large percentage of the population - single people who also do not get those 'benefits.'

If everyone were honest, it would be apparent that the most elegant solution is simply for government to step away from the control of marriage completely - whether it be laws describing what is a 'legal' marriage or whether it is the extension of marriage benefits. Without the government benefits, it really is just a secular issue - and government has no place in that fight.

But I doubt anyone wants to go that way do they? And lose those 'benefits?' Nope. So, those who already have or can gain the 'benefits' of what is really secular marriage will continue to oppose the 'legal' marriage of those who don't fit their secular definition. And those who are excluded will continue to fight for the 'benefits' by calling them 'rights.' But all of them will be less than honest in their arguments for or against.

But you know who will still be treated unfairly, by paying higher tax rates for example? Single people. Nobody really wants 'equality.' They all just want what others have.

My wife told me the other day that our neighbor’s mother is going to marry her long time female roommate. The mother claims they are not homosexual and that they only want to marry to receive the legal benefits associated with marriage. The benefits of marriage would be best made to all who wish to legally bond regardless as to whether or not they are having sex. The government has no business in who is sleeping with who.

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