Colorado is just one of eight states that will address marriage on Tuesday’s ballot.
Marriage is already defined in a state statute, but Amendment 43, if it passes, will define marriage in the Colorado constitution as a union that is limited to being between a man and a woman.
Politicians and students alike have voiced strong opinions on the issue.
Valerie Wolfe, a senior biology major and member of the Student Organization for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender students, is against the amendment that would make Colorado join the other 19 states that define marriage in their state constitutions.
“I think the fact that it is the first time in history that they are trying to amend discrimination to affect people’s rights is opening up a floodgate,” Wolfe said. “It shows how nobody’s rights will be safe.”
Dan Nifong, a junior human development and family studies major, however, supports the amendment.
“From Biblical standards of being a Christian, it is only right for a man and woman to marry,” Nifong said.
Pastor Dan Iles from Mountain Range Church, located on South Shields Street, also supports Amendment 43.
“I believe that God created us male and female and that he put the first man and first woman together in the Garden of Eden and established the basic institution from which all society stems, that being family,” Iles said. “It begins from what God created and reveals to us, to me, as a Christian in the Bible.”
State Representative Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, shares this view about traditional marriage and wants it defined in the constitution, which would make it harder to overturn than statutory law.
“This is not meant to attack anyone,” he said. “We just want to reinforce and state very clearly what marriage is and what is has been for hundreds of thousands of years.”
Democratic state Senator Bob Bacon, however, opposes the amendment.
“It is a statute that defines marriage as between one man and one woman and it is not needed in the Constitution because we already have it in law,” Bacon said.
Though Iles and Lundberg say the amendment will reinforce marriage in the community, opponents say the amendment could cause many hardships for the gay community.
“It’s going to affect me a lot because even when President Bush was elected, a lot of (the GLBT community) feared our freedoms knowing that he’s not accepting of us,” Wolfe said. “It will affect my schoolwork and my will as an activist.”
Staff writer Taryn Clark can be reached at email@example.com.