DENVER — Finally, a concession from Marilyn Musgrave.
Or so it seemed for a short time on the website of the New York Times, which initially reported Wednesday that the former Colorado Congresswoman, who never officially conceded her 2008 defeat to Democrat Betsy Markey, had done a complete reversal on what has always been her signature issue: gay marriage.
But Musgrave, who sponsored a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and famously said that there was no bigger threat to the country, tells FOX31 Denver that the report is flat-out wrong.
“I’m very befuddled by this story,” Musgrave told FOX31 Denver. “There’s absolutely no truth to that. I’m reading it thinking, ‘what in the world?’
“I wasn’t even aware of it. I have not changed my position. I’m trying to imagine where anyone would get that information and I can’t figure it out.”
The brief, organized by former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, who is openly gay, urges the Supreme Court to declare that gay and lesbian couples have a Constitutional right to marry.
Musgrave was cited in the lede paragraph of a story by the New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg as part of a growing group of conservative Republicans supporting Mehlman’s brief.
That story was corrected by Stolberg shortly after this FOX31 Denver report was published.
Stolberg told FOX31 that Musgrave’s name was actually on the brief she was shown for the story.
“I got my information from those collecting the signatures,” she told FOX31 Denver.
Stolberg told FOX31 that she called Musgrave to personally apologize for the error, which occurred because Musgrave’s former district director, former state Rep. B.J. Nikkel, signed the brief and her name and lengthy title pushed her affiliation with Musgrave onto a second line so that Musgrave’s name appeared by itself.
Nikkel, who did not run for reelection last year after her seat was re-drawn, became the first Republican to vote in favor of a civil unions bill last May and has become a strong advocate for LGBT rights.
On the eve of the committee hearing last May when Nikkel ultimately voted to support the bill, Musgrave left her a long voicemail message pleading with her to vote against it.