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  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

  • Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”

    Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

  • Tuesday Olson knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
  • It’s time to end the death penalty in Colorado. Family members who lost loved ones to murder speak out against an unjust and broken system.

New Economic Study Finds Extending Marriage to Gay and Lesbian Couples in Colorado Would Add $50 Million to State Economy and $3.7 Million in State and Local Tax Revenue

DENVER — Why Marriage Matters Colorado, the broad coalition working to remove discrimination from Colorado’s constitution and secure the freedom to marry for all committed couples, announced today that a new economic study released by the Williams Institute shows that extending marriage to gay and lesbian couples in Colorado would generate $50 million in spending to the state economy and $3.7 million in state and local tax revenue.

The Williams Institute, a national think tank at the UCLA School of Law, has released a full version of the report, which can be found here.

Looking at 2010 U.S. Census data on the number of gay and lesbian couples living in Colorado, the Institute estimates that 50% – roughly 6,200 couples – would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

In the first three years of extending marriage to same-sex couples, the study estimates that:

· The state’s wedding business would see an increase by $40 million, and an increase of roughly $10 million in tourism expenditures made by out-of-town guests over the same period.

· Total state and local tax revenue would rise by $3.7 million, including an estimated $2.3 million in local sales taxes. The first year would produce $2 million of this spending.

· The boost in wedding spending will generate approximately 436 jobs in the state.

The report also takes into account the couples who have already celebrated their marriage elsewhere and the estimated 3,976 Colorado resident couples who have already entered into civil unions. If those couples marry without ceremonies, the economic impact will be smaller: roughly $32 million.

“We’ve already known that marriage would give committed couples here in Colorado the opportunity to make a lifetime promise to each other and protect their families the same way everyone else does,” said Dave Montez, Executive Director of One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy group for LGBT Coloradans and their families. “Now we know that marriage equality would also benefit our economy and contribute to the state’s bottom line.”

For specific inquiries about the report and its findings, contact Laura Rodriguez at 310-956-2425 or lrodriguez@rabengroup.com.

 

Why Marriage Matters Colorado is broadening the dialogue with Coloradans about why marriage is important to same-sex couples and their families and why it is consistent with the values of liberty and freedom. More information on this statewide initiative – which is being spearheaded by leading statewide LGBT advocacy group One Colorado, ACLU of Colorado, and Freedom to Marry – can be found here: www.whymarriagematterscolorado.org



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