Minutes after President Barack Obama endorsed gay marriage on May 9, Colorado’s Democratic governor choked back tears as he ordered state lawmakers to reconsider a civil-unions measure defeated the day before by Republicans.
In the week that followed, the debate over equal rights for same-sex couples consumed the Capitol. Republicans succeeded in killing the measure, but lawmakers from both parties say the issue could play an important role in White House race in Colorado.
“Go back to your communities, go back to your neighborhoods, go back to your churches and let them know that the fight continues,” Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty told gay-marriage opponents gathered outside the Capitol last Tuesday.
Colorado Democrats predict that their loyalists, as well as independents, will rally behind Obama, given his support of same-sex marriage.
“That will have a positive impact on the chances of the president being re-elected and winning Colorado in November,” said Democratic Rep. Mark Ferrandino, a gay lawmaker who co-sponsored the civil unions legislation and said that its supporters would be “very active” in the fall on the issue.
Obama plans to give the commencement address Wednesday at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, before attending fundraisers in Denver.
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