Dueling marriage rights tour not coming west

The New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage (NOM) will raw groupies on their 2010 summer tour. New York City-based  pro-same sex marriage group “Freedom to Marry” plans to shadow NOM around the country and counter the message of the “traditional marriage” defenders by organizing rallies and events to protect same sex marriage where it’s legal and to promote it where it’s contested.

“We agree with NOM that marriage is the key to strong families,” said Sean Eldridge, communications director of Freedom to Marry. “We just happen to think that applies to same-sex couples as well.”

The NOM/Freedom to Marry tour will start in Augusta, Maine, and end in Washington D.C.  But the campaign isn’t coming to Colorado, or even anywhere west of the Missouri River, despite the fact that many battles over marriage equality are being fought on the “left coast.” Colorado flirted with banning same-sex marriages in 2004 and with a domestic partnership initiatives in 2009. In San Francisco the decision on the constitutionality of California’s ban on gay marriage is to be decided in days.

Freedom to Marry’s Eldridge said on a press call Monday that he hopes to bring the group’s message out West eventually. For now, though, the group is focused on countering NOM’s campaign.

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