State of Colorado Archives: on Civil Rights


Ken Buck: Won't compare gays to alcoholics again; better candidate now

Amy Stephens made the case that Ken Buck hurt the party in his failed 2010 Senate bid. Stephens said that the Weld County district attorney's performance in a national television interview had significant ramifications. Stephens noted that "unfortunately when Ken had the 'Meet the Press' incident, along with our gubernatorial (candidates), we watched a lot of things implode."

Buck said the campaign mistakes he made four years ago, including the controversial remark comparing gays to alcoholics, was a mistake he would not repeat again. "I was unprepared for the question, and I answered it in a shorthanded way, and I shouldn't have answered it," said Buck. "I'm a better candidate than I was four years ago. I will not implode, though I don't agree with the premise I did implode."

Source: Denver Post on 2014 Colorado Senate debate Feb 26, 2014

Owen Hill: Gay marriage forces gay agenda onto straight society

Republicans failed twice to add a "conscience clause" to protect people with religious objections to homosexuality. One amendment was written broadly enough to protect businesses that embrace religious principles. Another was tailored specifically to religious adoption agencies who don't want to place children with gay couples.

Without such language, opponents argue the bill expands gay rights at the expense of religious rights: "Slavery was not abolished for blacks by enslaving whites," said Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs.)

Supporters of civil unions compare religious exemptions to Jim Crow laws. They say anybody providing a public service should have to treat gay couples equally.

Source: Brandon Rittiman on Colorado 9 News Feb 8, 2013

John Hickenlooper: Let's pass civil unions!

Let's pass civil unions! Some of us tried very hard, but it didn't get done last year. This year, let's do it. Let's pass civil unions!
Source: 2013 Colorado State of the State address Jan 10, 2013

Amy Stephens: Traditional marriage without Civil Unions

Source: 2012 State House campaign website,StephensForColorado.com Aug 18, 2012

Amy Stephens: Rated 43% on voting positions by Women's Lobby of Colorado

The Women's Lobby of Colorado seeks to provide better opportunities for women in our state by ensuring that public policies reflect gender equity and justice. Our all-volunteer organization has kept the needs of women front and center in our state's public policy debates.
Source: VoteSmart summary: 2014 Colorado Senate legislative ratings Jun 20, 2012

Randy Baumgardner: Rated 35% on voting positions by Women's Lobby of Colorado

The Women's Lobby of Colorado seeks to provide better opportunities for women in our state by ensuring that public policies reflect gender equity and justice. Our all-volunteer organization has kept the needs of women front and center in our state's public policy debates.
Source: VoteSmart summary: 2014 Colorado Senate legislative ratings Jun 20, 2012

Ken Buck: Buck "mis-spoke" comparing homosexuality to alcoholism

Buck made national news after saying on Meet the Press that he believed same-sex attraction was a lifestyle choice and comparing homosexuality to alcoholism. He later stood by the statement even in the face of calls from gay activists, doctors and psychologists to retract them and even given the fact that the statements strongly supported assertions made by his detractors that his views are out of sync with the views of most Coloradans. [One voter wrote to Buck] calling for Buck to retract his comments. Buck's campaign sent this email:
Thank you for your response. Ken may have mis-spoke, but his desire is to serve the people of Colorado period. As the prosecuting attorney for Weld County, Ken was the only DA in the country to try a hate crime that involved a transgender individual and win. Too often comments are misunderstood and taken out of context, but the hope is that you will realize Ken's commitment to Colorado and its citizens.
Source: Colorado Independent coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate debate Oct 25, 2010

Ken Buck: Birth influences homosexuality like it influences alcoholism

Ken Buck compared homosexuality to alcoholism Sunday in a nationally televised debate. [One analyst speculated], "The homosexuality question is going to produce most of the headlines out of the debate."

Asked by the host to elaborate on a statement he made in an earlier debate about gays in the military, Buck said he believes sexual orientation is a choice. Buck went on to say, "I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice."

Bennet jumped on Buck's remark. "I absolutely believe he's outside the mainstream of views on this," Bennet said.

After the debate, a Buck spokesman said Buck did not mean to imply with his alcoholism comparison that Buck believes homosexuality is a disease. Buck told The Denver Post after the debate that he "wasn't talking about being gay as a disease" but also said of his remark that "there's no doubt there will probably be a commercial on something like that" from Democrats.

Source: Greeley Tribune coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate debate Oct 18, 2010

Ken Buck: Being gay is a choice, but birth has an influence

Q: On the issue of gays, in a debate last month you expressed your support for "don't ask, don't tell," and you alluded to lifestyle choices. Do you believe that being gay is a choice?

BUCK: I do.

Q: Based on what?

BUCK: Based on what?

Q: Yeah, why do you believe that?

BUCK: Well, I guess, you can choose who your partner is.

Q: You don't think it's something that's determined at birth?

BUCK: I think that birth has an influence over like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you, you have a choice.

Q: [to Bennet]: Does that put him outside the mainstream of views on this?

BENNET: I absolutely believe he's outside the mainstream of views on this.

Source: NBC's Meet the Press: 2010 Colorado Senate debate Oct 17, 2010

Ken Buck: Don't-ask-don't-tell policy makes a lot of sense

An issue that illustrates the differences between Buck and Bennet is the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. When asked about repealing don't-ask-don't-tell, Sen. Bennet said he supported lifting the ban, saying opposition to homosexuality was a result of "outdated views of our society."

Buck said, "I do not support the repeal of don't-ask-don't-tell. I think it is a policy that makes a lot of sense." The don't-ask-don't-tell policy itself was instituted during the Clinton years and prohibits inquiries into the sexual orientation of military members. The current policy states that a person who makes their sexuality known is subject to discharge under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The Colorado Independent, in a story titled "Coloradans mostly agree with Bennet not Buck on don't-ask-don't-tell," reported that the majority of Coloradans supported lifting the ban. However, Buck's opinion appears to be more in line with the majority of generals and service-members.

Source: Greeley Gazette coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

Michael Bennet: Opposition to homosexuality is an outdated views of society

An issue that illustrates the differences between Buck and Bennet is the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. When asked about repealing don't-ask-don't-tell, Sen. Bennet said he supported lifting the ban, saying opposition to homosexuality was a result of "outdated views of our society."

Buck said, "I do not support the repeal of don't-ask-don't-tell. I think it is a policy that makes a lot of sense." The don't-ask-don't-tell policy itself was instituted during the Clinton years and prohibits inquiries into the sexual orientation of military members. The current policy states that a person who makes their sexuality known is subject to discharge under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The Colorado Independent, in a story titled "Coloradans mostly agree with Bennet not Buck on don't-ask-don't-tell," reported that the majority of Coloradans supported lifting the ban. However, Buck's opinion appears to be more in line with the majority of generals and service-members.

Source: Greeley Gazette coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate debate Sep 29, 2010

Ken Buck: Prosecute the murder of transgender as a hate crime

Campaign For Liberty [created an] ad which is not a strict candidate endorsement, which would violate the law, but instead to promote the group's surveys.

The commenter suggests the ad was the work of wealthy Colorado gay-rights activist Tim Gill who, the theory goes, is supporting Buck because last year Buck chose to prosecute the murder of transgender Greeley resident Angie Zapata as a hate crime. The prosecution was a victory for the Zapata family and the gay community that rallied around the trial

Source: John Tomasic in The Colorado Independent Jan 28, 2010

Jane Norton: Define marriage as the union of one man and one woman

On Marriage: I support the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, janenortonforcolorado.com Dec 25, 2009

Ken Salazar: Oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment

I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. I oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment. I support expanding hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation, and I support laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, SalazarForColorado.com Aug 11, 2004

Ken Salazar: Change the Patriot Act to balance civil liberties

Law enforcement needs effective tools to deal with terrorists, but we must balance our civil liberties with the need to protect America. I support the bipartisan Security and Freedom Ensured (SAFE) Act, which makes important changes to the Patriot Act related to secret searches and roving wiretaps and impose reasonable limits on government access to library, bookseller, medical, and other records containing sensitive, personal information about law-abiding citizens.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, SalazarForColorado.com Aug 11, 2004

Ed Perlmutter: Affirnative action needed at colleges but not state agencies