Attorney General candidate Don Quick seizes on gay marriage issue

Politics

Democratic attorney general candidate Don Quick with former U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar earlier this year.

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DENVER — The only Democrat running to be Colorado’s next attorney general took a strong stand Tuesday on the gay marriage issue, calling on the current attorney general to end his legal defense of the state’s gay marriage ban.

Don Quick, the former Adams County district attorney, urged Republican Attorney General John Suthers to recognize Colorado’s Amendment 43, which stipulates that marriage is between a man and a woman and was approved by voters in 2006.

“If elected Colorado’s next Attorney General, I will fight to protect Colorado’s laws, and that includes laws that I don’t personally support,” Quick said during a press conference outside the Colorado Supreme Court.

“However, above all else, the Attorney General swears an oath to uphold the United States Constitution. If a law is unconstitutional, the Attorney General has an obligation to say so.”

In Quick’s view, the gay marriage ban violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

Just last year, the Supreme Court struck down the federal prohibition against same-sex marriage; since then, federal judges in Utah, Oklahoma and California have thrown out same-sex marriage bans at the state level.

“The legal foundation for marriage equality is clear,” Quick said. “It’s not too late for the Attorney General to recognize the fundamental right of all Coloradans to marry the person they love.”

Suthers, who is term-limited, isn’t likely to adjust his stance on the issue due to Quick’s pestering.

Quick’s speech Tuesday was more of an effort to clearly stake out advantageous political ground — a growing majority of Coloradans support same-sex marriage — early in an election year.

On the Republican side, state Rep. Mark Waller and Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman are vying for the party’s nomination to take on Quick in the fall.

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