Update: See also Denver Post: “Colorado ‘Personhood’ proposal’s 2010 ballot title approved,” which reporter Lynn Bartels concludes with this from CRTL’s vice president Leslie Hanks, “Since our so-called trouncing, 25 other states are pursuing this, so, yes, we are optimistic,” Hanks said.
CRTL’s Press Release:
Colorado Secretary of State’s Title Board Unanimously Approves
Proposed 2010 Personhood Amendment Language
For Immediate Release
August 5, 2009
Denver, Colorado – The offices of the Colorado Attorney General, The Secretary of State, and Legislative Legal Services voted 3-0 that the proposed 2010 Personhood Amendment meets the required single subject rule and also voted 3-0 that the language is not misleading.
Personhood Colorado director Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D. and Colorado Right To Life vice president Leslie Hanks explained the technical difference between the 2008 Personhood Amendment and this year’s. “Our decision to use the words ‘the beginning of biological development of a human being’ as opposed to ‘the moment of fertilization’ allows us to protect all human beings, even those originating from asexual forms of reproduction,” said Leslie Hanks.
Several changes were suggested by members of the Title Board to the draft submitted by Legislative Legal Services; these changes were welcomed by the proponents. “The language suggested by the Title board reinforced our most fundamental civic principle,” noted Gualberto Garcia Jones. “While the state has no authority to grant inalienable rights, it has the obligation to protect them, and we believe the 2010 Personhood Amendment language accomplishes that ,” said Garcia Jones.
The Title as designated and fixed by the board now reads, “An amendment to the Colorado Constitution applying the term “person” as used in those provisions of the Colorado Constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law, to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.”
In 2007, the Colorado State Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision upholding a similar ruling by the Title Board. Proposed changes in the language prompted a discussion and concern that the language could be interpreted as allowing the inclusion of apes as “persons” just as other nations are currently considering. The proponents were pleased to accept language that excludes that possibility.
“Today the Attorney General’s office, The Secretary of State’s office and Office of Legislative Legal Services made it clear that the language of the 2010 Personhood Amendment satisfied their statutory requirements,” said Garcia Jones, “we are pleased that the amendment will extend the protections of our constitution to all human beings.”
The proponents of the 2010 Personhood Amendment are looking forward to an unprecedented grass roots campaign to collect the necessary signatures to put the 2010 Personhood Amendment on the ballot.
To interview Colorado RTL’s Leslie Hanks please contact Donna Ballentine at CRTL at 303 753-9394.
To interview Personhood Colorado’s Gualberto Garcia Jones please call 303 456-2700.