Saturday, March 16, 2013

News from Colorado - gays, guns and pot

If you read the national headlines, news from Colorado in the past week can be summed up in two words: gays and guns.

This past week a civil unions bill, twenty years in the making, passed through our state house 39 - 25 and will be signed by our governor. Civil unions will be legal in Colorado starting May 1st. The anti-gay venom was alive and well in the debates, yet nothing new was said. The message of hate and prejudice never seems to change even if the faces of those expressing the message do. See my past blog post for more information civil unions in Colorado.

NOTE: Mike and I were married in our church on April 30, 2005. As huge of a deal as it was to us it is not recognized by our state or federal government. We will be in line on May 1st to get civil unioned.

Also this week, several gun laws were passed. I have been doing my best to keep up with them but even that effort hasn't been enough to have a good grip on what is going on. Gun rights activists are pissed off as you can see in any comments section for articles or postings about the bills that will most likely now become law. The bills include a 15-round magazine limit, having gun purchasers pay for their background check and one around universal background checks (adding private sales to when a background check is required).

I have read a lot around these. Those supporting the measures believe that they will make Colorado safer while those opposing them believe that the government is infringing on their 2nd Amendment rights and that the bills will do nothing to make the public safer.

As in some other heated topics, people who disagree with each other say unfortunate things. It's pathetic that we as communities cannot debate ideas without personally slamming someone or in some cases even threatening violence.

One thing I really liked from the gun debate (and many probably hated, especially those working in the state capitol) was that on the day that the state senate was debating gun bills, folks opposed to the bills kept a continuous flow of drivers circling the capitol and honking their horns. I thought that was great activism. I wanted to even stand on a corner there and hold a sign that said "honk for gay marriage!".

Also in the headlines here is news about medical marijuana and a new amendment (64) that was passed by voters in November making it legal to be carrying a small amount of marijuana. It's fascinating to watch how this affects people. I read today that our governor has said that while meeting with potential business folks who may consider moving to Colorado their biggest concern is marijuana. I believe him when he says this and I the same time I am thinking "seriously?".

Regarding animals, nothing has really come to the legislature regarding protection, welfare or cruelty. I did see one bill about vet care of ill farmed animals which did not pass (animal groups were opposed to it).

Meanwhile in Colorado spring is here and we have had some beautiful weather. I don't think I can take the sand bags out of the bed of my truck quite yet but winter is definitely coming to an end.

Politics is fascinating. Less than two months left in our state legislative session and I wonder if it is going to get any more exciting. Regardless of people's opinions, I am excited to see so many people get involved politically and make their voices heard.

Thanks for reading!

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