(June 26) – Speaker Mark Ferrandino applauded today’s Supreme Court ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denied equal rights to same-sex couples, as “a big step toward a new era of equality and respect.”

“If the law is going to grant special privileges and responsibilities to couples, then it must grant them without discriminating on the basis of sex,” said Speaker Ferrandino, a leader in the struggle to establish civil unions in Colorado and the first openly gay man to be speaker of the state House of Representatives. “Our love is the same as everyone else’s love. Our families are the same as everyone else’s families.”

“Our nation’s history tells us that the expansion of civil rights doesn’t happen automatically or overnight,” Rep. Ferrandino said. “But I am confident that this ruling is a big step toward a new era of equality and respect across America.”

“Now that the Supreme Court has ensured that the federal government can’t discriminate against same-sex couples who are married, it is more important than ever that we continue the fight for the freedom to marry in Colorado,” Rep. Ferrandino said.

The Colorado Civil Unions Act, which gives same-sex couples some of the rights and responsibilities of marriage, became law in Colorado eight weeks ago today, on May 1. The bill was sponsored this past session by Speaker Ferrandino (D-Denver) and Rep. Sue Schafer (D-Wheat Ridge), and by Sens. Pat Steadman (D-Denver) and Lucia Guzman (D-Denver), and was signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper on March 21.

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