Karl Gehring/The Denver Post
Former Sen. Ed Jones testified in 2011 and 2012 against a bill allowing gay couples to form civil unions. The Colorado Springs Republicans also is against the current measure pending in the legislature.
Two years ago, the son of Holocaust survivors ripped former state Sen. Ed Jones for saying gay rights cannot be equated to civil rights, but there was no one to challenge the Colorado Springs Republican when he repeated that sentiment Friday at a pro-marriage rally at the state Capitol.
“I’m going to be black all of my life. Proud of it. I don’t have a choice,” Jones said. “Gays have choices.”
Jones received plenty of applause from the crowd of about 150 people, but two years ago the praise was directed at Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Cherry Hills Village, who took Jones on in committee. Kagan described how his grandfather was tortured to death in 1941 for being Jewish, just as blacks were lynched because of their color and gays are beaten because of their sexual orientation.
“All those groups and others, sadly, have been subjected to hatred, disgust, contempt, disapproval and denial of their humanity, of their worth as human beings and, yes sir, of their civil rights,” Kagan said.
The civil unions bill died in committee that year and on the House floor in 2012 after a wild night, but the 2013 proposal is expected to pass as Democrats control of the House, Senate and governor’s office. Senate Bill 11 already has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee, prompting the pro-marriage rally, where Jones was one of the special guest speakers.
Jones talked at the rally on the Capitol’s west steps about growing up in Mississippi, where he was born in 1942.
“When I heard people say this bill is about people who are being discriminated against like blacks were in the ‘40s and ‘50s with Jim Crow, it’s not true folks. I never saw a water foundation that said “Gays only.” I never saw a restaurant refuse somebody for a meal because they were gay,” he said.
Jones also mentioned watching the KKK parades going through town, and the death of civil-rights leaders who dared to defy them. He said it’s wrong to compare that to same-sex couples — using the phrase “gymnastics in bed.”
He also was critical of a photograph in the Colorado Statesman that featured the gay speaker of the House, Denver Democrat Mark Ferrandino, and his “wife Eric.” Actually, Ferrandino’s partner’s name is Greg, and Ferrandino refers to him as his husband.
“Tell all your neighbors to send the governor a message, send these people up here a message,” Jones said. “This is so wrong.”
See original here:
Former Colorado lawmaker says gay rights is not same as civil rights