There was a line outside of the Denver City and County building late Tuesday night as if a Harry Potter book was going on sale at midnight. But it wasn’t a new book or concert tickets that were available at the strike of twelve, it was the availability of the very first Civil Union licenses for same sex couples. It was truly an historic moment for gay couples in Denver and throughout Colorado.
However, are we witnesses to true history, or are we simply seeing the opening act to a more historical moment when gay marriage is finally legal in Colorado? While that may have seemed very unlikely five to ten years ago, at this point, there are many who believe the era of gay marriage is right around the corner.
Regardless of where you are at personally on the topic, it’s hard to argue against the point that gay marriage is speeding towards becoming a reality far faster than anyone ever imagined. From national lawmakers saying the country should finally come to terms and make gay marriage legal to the first major professional sports player coming out, the way our society looks at homosexual rights is changing at light speed.
PHOTO GALLERY: 1st Civil Union Ceremonies In Colorado
This is not to suggest that the journey will be smooth as silk. This is also not to suggest that every state in the union will be rushing to join other states to legalize gay marriage. But what this does suggest is while we justifiably look at May 1, 2013 as an historic day in the age of homosexual civil rights in Colorado, it will pale in comparison to the day when gay marriage becomes the law of the land.
Civil Unions became the grand compromise for same gender couples when it was clear a few years back that gay marriage was not in the cards at any level. Steps like that are made in many civil rights movements. It was not surprising and the creation of civil unions may have indeed paved the way for the progress on gay marriage. But like many first and important steps in civil rights movements, it will quickly become obsolete.
I wonder if some same gender couples are looking forward to being on the cusp of both historic movements. To become one of the first civil unions in Colorado and then to become one of the first gay marriages in Colorado, while somewhat legally superfluous, would still be very significant. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a small group of pioneers interested in that historic status.
Now you may be wondering, “Did I miss something? Isn’t gay marriage still illegal in Colorado’s constitution?”
Well, that is absolutely correct and to get that fact changed will take a major effort. However, the status of the amendment that defines marriage as something between one man and one woman in the Colorado constitution has more threats against its existence than a Krispy Kreme donut at a Weight Watchers meeting.
Between a lawsuit against its constitutionality and a potential ballot initiative that would repeal it, the law in our land that prohibits gay marriage is likely not long for this world.
Coloradans are an independent bunch and we certainly still are on this issue. It will not be entirely resolved overnight. But to deny the momentum of where history is headed is to not recognize the very physical law of momentum.
The fact of the matter is that May 1st is truly an historic day in Colorado for civil rights. But as a state known for its love of freedom celebrates new freedoms for a whole new group of people, we need to realize that a greater and more appropriate freedom is on the horizon.
About The Blogger
– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television.