The kickoff rally to oppose Amendment 67, which would add "unborn human beings" to Colorado's criminal code and wrongful death act, is set for tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol, exactly 45 minutes after proponents of the Personhood-USA-backed measure stage a counter protest at the same location.
If you rewind just over six years ago to the State Capitol, you'd find a related news event taking place: the 2008 personhood amendment was picking up its first real legitimacy. Personhood activists staged a press conference with, as Channel 7 reported at the time, "some of Colorado's most conservative leaders," including Bill Cadman, Mike Kopp, and Josh Penry. (Watch it here.)
Also present was then State Rep. Cory Gardner, who you can see on the left of the screen shot below.
Gardner and the others got a shout-out from Kristi Burton, the initiator of the 2008 personhood effort, in a subsequent news release about the event:
Colorado for Equal Rights and State Senator Scott Renfroe organized a press conference in which ten state legislators gave their public support to the Colorado Human Life Amendment. Endorsements were given by State Senators Scott Renfroe, Greg Brophy, David Schultheis, Mike Kopp, Josh Penry, Ted Harvey, and Bill Cadman and State Representatives Kent Lambert, Jerry Sonnenberg, and Corey Gardner.
Colorado for Equal Rights applauds the courage of these state legislators in stepping out and taking a stand for those people who have no voice... the unborn. As Senator Greg Brophy stated, "Clearly it's always the right time to take the stand for the sanctity of life."
The underlying politics of this year's Personhood-backed amendment is obviously a major part of the story. And no one illustrates the shifting politics better than GOP senatorial candidate Gardner.
Tomorrow's events provide an excellent opportunity for reporters to clarify how Gardner's position on Amendment 67, which he's said he opposes, squares with his position on federal personhood legislation, which he cosponsored in July of last year.
Recently, Gardner's spokesman told The Denver Post that the federal bill is simply an expression of belief, not a proposed law. This is factually incorrect, and journalists should find out directly from Gardner what his own thinking on the legislation is. If it turns out he opposes it, will he un-cosponsor it by making a speech? If he supports it, what does he think the federal legislation would actually do, if anything?
Follow Jason Salzman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BigMediaBlog