Six-pack of cold ones
In the latest wave of religion-based hate clogging our fair state’s political process, six middle-aged state representatives are responsible for the latest assault on civil rights in Colorado.
Last week, Colorado senators voted yes on a bill that would legalize civil unions for same-sex couples in Colorado, and they passed it to the House Judiciary Committee. Thanks to that committee’s six Republicans, that bill is now dead.
The 6-5 vote was split along party lines. The bill almost certainly would have passed had it reached a vote on the House floor. But those GOP representatives, whose party won a powerful edge in House committees after the 2010 elections netted them a measly 33-32 majority, robbed gay Coloradans the decency of a floor vote by banding together to kill the bill in committee. The bill’s sponsors, Rep. Mark Ferrandino and Sen. Pat Steadman, both openly gay Democrats, were publicly optimistic about the bill’s chances in front of the entire assembly, as three Republicans voted for the bill as it breezed through the Senate on a 32-13 vote. There was a very, very good chance that a Republican would join Democrats in voting for the bill. Gov. John Hickenlooper, who rarely comments on pending legislation, has publicly supported the bill and urged the committee to send it to the floor. The biggest hurdle was getting past the family values crew on the House Judiciary Committee, to which the bill was assigned. Sadly, that hurdle was too high.
Here are the six Republicans who voted to maintain second-class status for gay Coloradans: Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs; Rep. Mark Barker, R-Colorado Springs; Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling; Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs; Rep. B.J. Nikkel, R-Loveland; and Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland.
Fifty years from now, our grandchildren will look back at how our era treated gays with the same embarrassment with which we now view Jim Crow laws. The voices of ignorance and bigotry should be ignored in our state and any other. That a former aide to Marilyn Musgrave (Nikkel), a guy (Sonnenberg) who knowingly hired a man accused of Internet luring and attempted enticement of a child (and
was later convicted), a Domino’s Pizza franchisee (DelGrosso) and three Colorado Springs lawmakers could decide the legal fate of same-sex partnerships in Colorado is a tragedy.
Thanks to those six politicians, Colorado, once again, has ended up on the wrong side of history.
Coffman’s latest grandstanding
It was pretty amusing to watch the posturing on the one-year anniversary of ObamaCare last month.
Predictably, Colorado Democratic Party Chair Rick Palacio issued a statement lauding the many new patient protections and benefits that have already taken effect, like the prohibition against insurance companies denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
Equally predictably, goofball Republicans like Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman chided the legislation as “a costly failure.” Coffman latched onto the claim that ObamaCare will cost 8.6 percent more than originally estimated, and he called for its repeal.
But Palacio rightly points out that repealing the act “would add over a trillion dollars to the national debt and put the lives of Coloradans back in the hands of health care lobbyists and the insurance industry.”
Coffman’s grandstanding came just a week after he issued his boneheaded statement about why Congress should vote to defund NPR. His argument for yanking the news outlet’s funding was such a blatant lie that it nearly rivals the “budget cut” excuse used by CU administrators when they eliminated a certain faculty/staff newspaper based on its editorial content.
Coffman’s lofty justification? He’s just concerned about the government influencing the media, of course.
“In a free society, the government must never be engaged in sponsoring media outlets because there will always be the temptation by those in power to exercise their political influence on the direction of the reporting.”
What a joke. As if he’s really more concerned about protecting the independence of the Fourth Estate than eliminating a left-leaning voice, further dwindling the number and diversity of media outlets not owned by massive corporate chains.