Over the objection of Republicans, Democrats, who control the Colorado Legislature, passed a bill last week allowing same-sex couples to file joint state tax returns, if they pay federal taxes jointly.
Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to sign it, presumably because he agrees with backers, like The Denver Post, who point out that the current tax rules make no sense, given that state taxes are based on the federal filings.
But the religious right, as represented below by former U.S. Attorney Mike Norton, is pissed. Norton got his back patted lovingly by KNUS' Dan Caplis recently for saying the bill is a violation of Colorado's ban on gay marriage:
Norton: You know, [we] have a constitutional amendment that was passed by the people of the state of Colorado in 2006, that really didn't state anything new. It simply reaffirmed what has been the historic position of the people of Colorado, [and] the people of this nation, in fact, the western world, that marriage of a man and a woman is a foundational social relationship that is important for the survival of any society.
Colorado's constitutional marriage ban isn't even that extreme, and it's completely ridiculous and unconstitutional. But why not let Norton extremify extremism if no one, like Caplis, is going to call you on it?
In any case, the legislation is about tax law, not marriage. But Norton, who's married to failed GOP Senate candidate Jane Norton, doesn't get it:
Norton: "And I mean, everyone is in favor of marriage equality, but we have to pretty much know what a marriage is, before we can define whether it is equality. And by tradition, and throughout history, marriage is defined as a union of a man and a woman, and it exists for a single purpose, and that is to bear and raise children. There is no question that children do better when they are with a man - a husband and a wife, a father and a mother. Moms and dads are different. And children need both moms and they need dads, as well."
Asked what he could do if the bill becomes law, Norton pointed out that Attorney General John Suthers joined a lawsuit challenging a court decision striking down Utah's gay-marriage ban.
Norton: "So, I'm hopeful that John Suthers will look at...this law as an assault on Colorado's marriage amendment and take steps. I think that's a possibility."