Colorado Rep DelGrosso fundamentally misunderstands State Constitution

Daniel Gonzales

January 23rd, 2013

Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland


From the Colorado Springs Gazette:

In 2006, Colorado voters approved an amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman.

Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, who voted against civil union bills in committees the past two years, said he questions the constitutionality of the proposed bill.

“The voters of Colorado have clearly said this is what we expect,” DelGrosso said. “How can you prove to us that what you’re doing is constitutional? That you’re not just changing the name of something and trying to pretend that it’s something that it’s not — same-sex marriage.”

Brian DelGrosso seems to fundamentally misunderstand how Colorado’s constitution. Our neighbors in Utah, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma have all passed amendments that not only ban gay marriage but also ban civil unions. Here in Colorado our constitution says nothing of civil unions.

The authors of Colorado Amendment 43 and voters have left the door open for us to have civil unions here in Colorado.

And yes, DelGrosso represents Loveland. Oh the irony.

Bernie Keefe

January 23rd, 2013

Thank God, I’m in Fort Collins.

Lindoro Almaviva

January 23rd, 2013

Daniel, i agree with you, but the fact is that he is right, in the grander scheme of things.

He is seeing the civil unions bill for what it is, an attempt to give same gender couples the rights and privileges of marriage under a different name. I agree with him, it is unconstitutional.

The problem is that he sees it in the much smaller context of “didn’t we put this to bed a long time ago? Fags are not entitled to the same rights that I am” while failing to consider both the bill or rights that guarantees citizens and tax payers the same rights and treatment under the law (thus making the voter approved constitutional amendment unconstitutional) AND the (I think) 14th amendment that guarantees protection from separate but equal.

So, think about it this way, he is right in his argument, but not for the reasons he is arguing, which makes his brand of blindness the worst kind there is.

Ben in Oakland

January 23rd, 2013

I was going to say what you said, lindoro, with this addendum.

Everywhere civil unions have been passed, they are an admission that we gay people have a moral. Religious, constitutional, legal, familial, and child centered claim on the heterosexual majority.

They are also a clear statement that we will never, ever be considered as good as the likes of fornicating, adulterous Newtie, or our lives as good asthe 27 marriages of Larry king, mickey rooney, and Liz Taylor.

Those civil unions stop exactly at the state line. If they can vote on our marriages, they can certainly vote on our civil unions.

So this Asshat here is both wrong and right for entirely the same reasons.


January 23rd, 2013

Lindoro and Ben in Oakland,
I disagree with both of your view on this. If the ammendment had wanted to ban domestic partnerships, in addition to definng marriage as one man one woman, it would have stated that in the ammendment itself. The ammendment defined MARRIAGE, it did not, in it’s text, say that no other relationships could not be legally formed or granted. In states that have ammended all forms of same sex relations, they have included wording to that effect in their text. No prohibitiopn of other forms of legalized relationships occured with the passage of this ammendment.

If one does not explicitly ban Civil Unions, then one can’t claim they are unconstitutional, as the author of this piece notes, the neighboring states explicity banned other unions at the same time they defined marriage.

Timothy Kincaid

January 23rd, 2013

The state website is a total mess. I found two different lists of members of the Judiciary Committee, but when you clicked the chair names it went to other random people. The more recent list (I think) doesn’t even include Rep. DelGrosso as being on the committee.


Who is on the House Judiciary Committee?

Ben in Oakland

January 23rd, 2013

Robert, that’s why I said he was both right and wrong for the same reasons.

Timothy Kincaid

January 23rd, 2013

Never mind, I figured it out. DelGrosso used to be on the Judiciary Committee but no longer is (as it said in the article, duh!)

His comments relate to his general opposition, not to the committee’s hearing today.

Daniel Gonzales

January 23rd, 2013

Correct, Rep Delgroso is in the House, the bill is currently in the Senate. He sits on the three committees, 1) Appropriations
2) Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development
3) Finance


January 23rd, 2013

Wikipedia has a list of the state Amendments and lists which ones do and don’t have language that goes beyond Marriage. The Colorado Amendment did not have that language, so no, he is wrong. Bit pushover to say otherwise.


January 23rd, 2013

Ben, I posted because I don’t see where he is “right”. He isn’t, in my view, as any rights afforded civil unions will fundamentally lack all the same rights as married couples, thus the “just changing the name” aspect is erroneous. If it doesn’t afford all the same rights then one can not say “it’s the same thing” as marriage.

The linked article is pretty good and discusses some of this in more detail than Daniel did.


January 24th, 2013

“If it doesn’t afford all the same rights then one can not say it’s the same thing” as marriage.”

To add to what Robert said, even if a civil union grants each and every last right granted by marriage, it will still be inherently “less than”.

If you remember, we have already tried the notion of “separate but equal” (“Jim Crow” ring a bell? “Colored” water fountains?) and it did not work. It ain’t gonna work now.

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