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Colorado Amendment 43 (2006)

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Template:SSM Amendment 43 proposes adding a new section to Article II of the Colorado Constitution that defines marriage in Colorado as only a union between one man and one woman.

Recognized marriages in Colorado would be:

  1. only between a man and a woman
  2. licensed, solemnized, and registered according to pre-established procedures
  3. common law marriages only with a man and a woman who live together and hold themselves out publicly as husband and wife

Current State Marriage BenefitsEdit

Benefits of marriage in Colorado include, as of November 2006:

  • collecting benefits such as pensions, life insurance, and workers' compensation without being designated as a beneficiary
  • jointly incurring and being held liable for debts
  • making medical treatment decisions for each other
  • protection from discrimination based on marital status in areas such as employment and housing
  • filing income taxes jointly
  • ending a marriage and distributing property through a legal process


Groups in favor of Amendment 43 feel that the proposed amendment:

  • preserves the commonly accepted definition of marriage
  • preserves the historical definition of marriage consisting of one man and one woman
  • provides an optimal environment for creating, nurturing, and protecting children and preserving families

Creating an amendment is seen as necessary to avoid court rulings that would expand the definition of marriage to same-sex marriages.


Groups opposed to Amendment 43 feel that the amendment:

  • does not belong in the Colorado's Bill of Rights, which has more to do with individual rights
  • may be unconstitutional because it discriminates against same-sex couples by denying them the same rights as heterosexual couples
  • redundant, since there is already:
    • a statutory ban against non-heterosexual marriages
    • federal statutes that define marriage as between one man and one woman for federal laws


Colorado Amendment 43 passed with 56% of the vote.

History of Related Amendments in ColoradoEdit

Colorado Amendment 2

  • legislative vote of a 53.4% margin on amendment in Nov 3, 1992 resulted in the temporary adoption of Amendment 2 with the following text:

Neither the state of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of, or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the Constitution shall be in all respects self-executing.

  • overturn of Amendment 2 legislation was approved in 1996 through the Romer vs Evans case by the U.S. Supreme Court stating:

An amendment to the Colorado Constitution that allows discrimination against homosexuals and prevents the state from protecting them violated equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, because it was not rationally related to a legitimate state interest, but instead was motivated by animus towards homosexuals. Supreme Court of Colorado affirmed.

  • U.S. Supreme Court judges presiding over the overturn of Amendment 2:

Chief Justice: William Rehnquist Associate Justices: John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Template:Same-sex marriage in the United States

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