With Same-Sex Marriage A Reality In Colorado, What's Next For LGBT Advocacy?
Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Colorado, the director of the state's largest LGBT advocacy group, One Colorado, said it's time to start mending fences with opponents of gay marriage.
"There are some really big issues facing our state and our country, and I would love to be able to sit down with folks to be able to sit down and figure out how to address some of those issues," Dave Montez said.
The call follows Colorado Attorney General John Suthers taking the final step in legalizing same-sex marriage in Colorado and ordering all 64 counties to provide marriage licenses to any couple requesting one regardless of sexual orientation. For Montez, the sudden extension of marriage equality wasn't a total surprise.
"I think that we always were hopeful that the [U.S. Supreme Court] would side with our families and we were hopeful that it would happen sooner rather than later," Montez said.
Beyond same-sex marriage, there are issues facing Colorado including immigration reform, human trafficking and youth homelessness. Montez said his organization can find common ground on those issues with opponents of marriage equality.
"Our people of faith have been particularly impacted by the divisiveness that this issue has caused within the religious community and I'm hoping we can sit down and figure out how to come together again," he said
One Colorado is already reaching out through back channels arranging meetings with opponents of same-sex marriage, and Montez said depending on that outreach, public meetings are not out of the question.
While the issue of same-sex marriage was dominant for One Colorado, Montez said there are many more similarly important issues still facing the LGBT community.
"There are transgender people throughout the state who face unacceptable barriers that no one should have to encounter. And then there are rural parts of the state where LGBT people are afraid to come out, all of that work still needs to be done."