Who Am I?

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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

LONG OVERDUE (Letter To Denver Post, 10 August 2014)

The picture above is a couple and their son I met while volunteering at the annual Denver Pride Fest in late June. They were one of the first couples to receive a marriage license by the Denver County clerk after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals announced that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional. Colorado is in the 10th Circuit.

I stand up for them and countless other gay and lesbian couples because they are being denied equal protection as expressed by the 14th Amendment of our constitution which I swore to support and defend 12 years ago this past 6 August.

As of this time court rulings in the state court have ruled Colorado's 2006 ban on same-sex marriages to be unconstitutional. The rulings led to county clerks in Denver, Boulder, and Pueblo to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but Attorney General John Suthers has issued a stay on those actions.

A federal judge for the district of Colorado ruled that our state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The judge stayed his ruling until 25 August to allow defendants the chance to appeal this case. Already the 10th Circuit ruled that Utah and Oklahoma banning same-sex couples from marrying was unconstitutional so it is likely that the court would rule the same for Colorado.

Those cases might get heard by the Supreme Court as soon as this upcoming term, and there could be a resolution on an issue that I have been involved in for the last few years.

For some, you know why I have been involved in this issue. The letter that appears in the 10 August 2014 edition of the Denver Post explains why.

A federal judge in Colorado recently ruled our state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. While state Attorney General John Suthers is well within his right to appeal this decision, his actions will waste taxpayers’ dollars and most importantly continue to treat our fellow Coloradans with disrespect.

That includes my aunt and her wife.

One year ago they took advantage of our state’s civil union law. A civil union is a recognition of their relationship, but it denies them the necessary legal protections that marriage provides. Our ban on same-sex marriage treats our LGBT friends — and, in my case, family members — as second-class citizens.

I served in the U.S. Navy from 2002-08. The final line of the Sailor’s Creed is, “I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.”

It is long overdue that we exhibit the fair treatment of all.

Michael Watts
Veteran, US Navy 2002-08
Lone Tree, CO

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