9News.com identified proponents of banning same-sex marriages as "marriage supporters"

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In the headline of an article on its website, KUSA 9News identified proponents of a ballot initiative to create a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage as "marriage supporters."

In the headline of an August 7 article on its website, Denver NBC affiliate KUSA 9News identified proponents of a ballot initiative to create a constitutional prohibition against same-sex marriage as "marriage supporters." The article was written by 9News reporter Adam Schrager and "posted by" 9News Web producer Jeffrey Wolf.

The 9News.com article, which reported on several groups that had submitted signatures to place initiatives on the November ballot, was headlined, "Marijuana, marriage supporters beat ballot deadline." Presumably, "marriage supporters" referred to backers of Initiative 83, which would amend the Colorado Constitution to specify "that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Colorado."

The 9news.com article quoted Jon Paul, who is executive director of Coloradoans for Marriage -- "a group that turned in more than 130,000 signatures on Monday to ask voters to define marriage as between one man and one woman in Colorado's Constitution." According to the article, Paul said, "We believe there will be people who are really drawn to this issue." The article further reported that "Paul acknowledges the 'possibility' of voter fatigue with so many initiatives but said, 'This one's really important.' "

The 9News.com article also quoted Mason Tvert, whose group, Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation, is "advocating for the legalization of a small amount of marijuana [and] turned in their nearly 130,000 signatures shortly after Paul's group."

In addition, the 9News.com article reported that a third "group [Coloradans for Fairness and Equality] to turn in signatures Monday was one wanting to ask voters to clearly state that domestic partnerships 'further important societal goals and do not affect the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.' "

In contrast to 9News.com's headline labeling backers of the same-sex marriage ban as "marriage supporters," an August 7 CBS4Denver.com article was headlined "Gay Marriage Issue Could Be On November Ballot."

9news

From the August 7 9News.com article "Marijuana, marriage supporters beat ballot deadline":

Three more citizen groups met Monday's deadline of turning in signatures to the Secretary of State's office. They joined three other proposed initiatives which were submitted last week.

[...]

"We believe there will be people who are really drawn to this issue," said Jon Paul, Executive Director of Coloradans for Marriage, a group that turned in more than 130,000 signatures on Monday to ask voters to define marriage as between one man and one woman in Colorado's Constitution.

Paul acknowledges the "possibility" of voter fatigue with so many initiatives but said, "This one's really important."

Mason Tvert and his group advocating for the legalization of a small amount of marijuana turned in their nearly 130,000 signatures shortly after Paul's group. Tvert petitioned onto the Denver ballot last fall and voters approved a similar measure to the one they may see this November. Tvert says the key to succeeding on a crowded ballot is to ask voters as simple a question as possible.

"We are posing probably the simplest question out there," said Tvert. "We're not in this for the politics of it and we don't care about the other issues. We care about marijuana and we think a number of people are going to come out statewide to vote on marijuana."

The other group to turn in signatures Monday was one wanting to ask voters to clearly state that domestic partnerships "further important societal goals and do not affect the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman." Referendum I also deals with domestic partnerships, granting certain end of life decisions, hospital visitations, and property rights to domestic partners. That was sent to the voters by state lawmakers last spring.

A tip from reader J.R. contributed to this item. Thanks, and keep them coming

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