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The truth is out there


Colorado voters who endured the Amendment 2 campaign know the coming debate over domestic partnerships is apt to get nasty. But a mean-spirited campaign can backfire.

"You have to be careful, because sometimes you defeat your own goal," says Boulder attorney Jean Dubofsky, who argued against the anti-gay initiative before the Supreme Court.

"One of the ways we won was by giving the court copies of the newsprint distributed to every house in the state the night before the election," she explains. "It contained all sorts of incredibly awful things about gays and lesbians, the same kinds of things that used to be written about blacks or Jews. We used that to prove that the only purpose of the initiative was an impermissible one, to promote bias.

"Whenever you start using materials that are demonstrably false, you run a risk of having what you're pushing being declared unconstitutional. "

In assessing the veracity of this year's campaigns, voters should consider the source. Focus on the Family's Web site, for instance, presents "solid research" on same-sex marriage and parenting written largely by a Focus analyst. Supporters of domestic partnerships may employ material generated by the Human Rights Campaign or other pro-gay groups.

But the unbiased truth is out there. To help you find it, the Indy recommends the following Web sites:

Goodridge: The 2003 case that gave gay couples in Massachusetts the right to marry.

Loving: The 1967 case that ruled interracial marriage bans unconstitutional.

Colorado overview: An issues brief on same-sex unions, by the Colorado Legislative Council Staff.

Colorado same-sex couples: Demographic and economic analysis of Colorado couples based on 2000 Census data.

Gay and lesbian adoptive parents: From The Children's Bureau, a subdivision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tracker of state policy innovations and trends.

Wikipedia: An overview of the same-sex marriage movement.

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