DENVER — As state courts here and federal appeals courts around the country consider the constitutionality of Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban, Gov. John Hickenlooper and his re-election campaign rival Bob Beauprez face the real possibility that Colorado will become an marriage-equality state in the next term.
Hickenlooper, a Democrat, embraces marriage equality. Beauprez has not.
During his tenure as a U.S. congressman, Beauprez voted for federal bans on same-sex marriage in 2004 and 2006.
The 2006 proposal, which Beauprez co-sponsored, would have amended the U.S. Constitution to say:
“Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”
The measure had heavy support at the time from Colorado’s Republican delegation. Then-Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, an arch-conservative culture warrior, was the primary sponsor of the resolution and Rep. Tom Tancredo joined Beauprez as a co-sponsor. The list of co-sponsors is long. It includes the names of predictable social conservatives like Missouri’s Todd Akin and North Carolina’s Virginia Foxx.
Although his office didn’t return calls for comment, his views on same-sex marriage appear to have evolved somewhat since 2006. This spring, as the the Denver-based 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against gay-marriage bans prompting Colorado clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Beauprez announced he supported same-sex civil unions but not marriage.
“I’m with our Constitution,” Beauprez told the Daily Camera. “The people of Colorado spoke repeatedly in the law of Colorado that marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Hickenlooper announced his support for full marriage equality this spring.
“If all men and women truly have the inalienable right to pursue happiness and if all people are created equal, then by extension of law, logic, and love, every adult couple should also have the freedom to join in marriage,” he said in a release.