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For years, credible surveys conducted among Colorado voters have found opinion in the state swinging strongly in favor of legal relationship recognition for gay couples. Results released Friday by North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling show the strongest support yet. Coloradans, according to a poll conducted last week (pdf), support a civil unions bill presently being considered by the state legislature by a whopping 30-point spread.
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.
Reporting the story of recently defeated Colorado civil unions bill SB 172, National Catholic Register reporter Steve Weatherbe Monday called a poll showing popular support for civil unions in the state "specious." But Weatherbe got the facts wrong on pro-civil unions polling in Colorado and he leans instead on an alleged "recent poll" conducted for Christian politics group Colorado Family Action by a company called Advantage Inc, which the Washington Post reportedly describes as a "Republican fundraising and marketing firm." Colorado Family Action says it shared its polling results with Republican members of the state House Judicial Committee who voted to kill the bill at the end of March.
DENVER-- In the week since state Senator Pat Steadman introduced his civil unions bill here, gay rights group OneColorado and Colorado Springs-based hristian-right organization Focus on the Family have rallied supporters with press releases and calls to action. OneColorado argues in favor of the bill, saying it's a matter of equality and of economic fairness. Focus on the Family argues against the bill, but not because it opposes civil unions, which it concedes most fair-minded people will support, but rather because it believes civil unions lead to legally recognized same-sex marriage.
As state Senator Pat Steadman gets set to introduce his civil unions legislation in Denver next week, new public opinion poll results bolster the case for the bill. The results of a Public Policy Polling survey (pdf) conducted this past weekend match almost exactly results of a survey conducted last January by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and American Viewpoint. More than 70 percent of Coloradans support legally recognized domestic partnerships, including those between same-sex couples.
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