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Colorado teen drops gay marriage initiative

The grassroots political dream crashed, like so many others, on the shoals of big-bucks ballot-initiative finances. Mark Olmstead, a 19-year-old Colorado voter, was spurred earlier this year by high-profile gay rights advances and increasing popular support for gay rights to try to land an initiative on the ballot in Colorado that would repeal the state's ban on gay marriage. Nic Garcia at Out Front Colorado reports today that Olmstead decided to withdrawal his initiative after failing to win backing for the business of gathering roughly 100,000 signatures by January.

Citizen initiative could force gay marriage showdown in Colorado

State establishment political progressives, including the staff at gay rights group OneColorado, seem cool on Aurora college student Mark Olmstead's plan to introduce a 2012 ballot initiative that would overturn the state's gay marriage ban. There's a sense that financial and human resources would be better spent pressing lawmakers to pass legislation securing equal rights for LGBT citizens here. Lone actor Olmstead's initiative, however, might force the issue, drawing on the energy of New York's big gay-marriage win this month and on the sea change shift among the U.S. population generally on the matter of gay equality.