Ref. I Results Across Counties

Colorado voters might have given Democrats control of congress, but that doesn’t mean they support equal rights for gay and lesbian couples.

Despite the passage of Amendment 43, which will constitutionally define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, Referendum I, which sought to create domestic partnerships for same-sex couples, failed with 47%.If passed, Ref. I would have given same-sex couples access to rights like end-of-life decision making and health insurance coverage. It was apparently too much for voters, however, who over a decade ago passed the notorious Amendment 2, which nullified discrimination protections for GLBT individuals.  (It was stuck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996.)

Some of the biggest surprises with Ref. I were the counties that voted for and against the measure.  Larimer County, which went to Bush in 2004, supported the referendum by 1817 votes. On the other side, Pueblo County, which went to Kerry in 2004, voted against Ref. I with 64%.

“It’s definitely a disappointment,” said Pat Steadman, an attorney and gay rights advocate in Denver, when talking about results in Pueblo.

Steadman believed something should have been done differently there, but also said he knew of Ref. I supporters that didn’t vote because of long wait times at Denver’s voting centers.

Urban strongholds like Denver and Boulder counties were in favor of the proposal, with both supporting it by approximately 67%.

In Garfield County, where Bush won with over 53% in 2004, voters narrowly failed Ref. I by 185 votes. Hinsdale County was also the same: Bush won overwhelmingly, but the referendum failed by a mere 77 votes.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at

Comments are closed.