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Gay Rights Groups Blast Colorado AG for Signing onto Massachusetts Case

Gay rights activists are criticizing Colorado Attorney General John Suthers for seeking to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, which is being challenged in Massachusetts. At issue are federal benefits for same-sex couples.

The 1996 law also allows states to disregard same-sex marriages performed in others states. A spokesman for Suthers says he joined the case because Colorado’s 2006 ban gay marriage would be nullified if that provision is struck down. The advocacy group One Colorado disagrees.

“And that’s not Colorado’s situation. Colorado has defined very clearly in its constitution that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and it’s quite unlikely that this case will affect that,” says Communications Director Jessica Cook Woodrum.

Cook Woodrum believes there are more pressing matters for Suthers to be working on.

“The Attorney General is spending his time and tax payer dollars on denying protections to committed same-sex couples in Massachusetts. And we just feel like he’s violated the trust of the voters of Colorado in taking this position.”

One Colorado has launched a petition drive asking Suthers to withdraw his support. In a related action over the weekend – Republican Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp criticized Democratic efforts to introduce legislation to create civil unions in the state – saying voters clearly spoke when they banned same-sex marriages.