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College students from across the state are planning a rally sparked by the defeat of Referendum I on the steps of the state capitol building at noon on Dec. 2.
The rally was first organized by a group of students at Colorado State University, but information about the rally has spread to other schools across the Internet with a facebook group called “Biggest Protest in Colorado.” The group now has over 2,700 members.
“We want to give everyone a little hope who might be down about the failure of Referendum I and passage of Amendment 43,” said Christina Martinez, one of the protest’s organizers listed by the facebook group and a senior at CSU.
Martinez said it’s just a rally, but it does have a unique theme.
“Our theme is unity and equality through visibility.”
Referendum I was an initiative on the Nov.-7 state ballot that would have established same-sex domestic partnerships in Colorado. The referendum failed, but Amendment 43, a state constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage, was passed.
Martinez said the group has collaborators at the University of Northern Colorado and the Metropolitan Sate College of Denver. The rally is being sponsored by a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) pro-rights group called Soulforce. She said she hasn’t made any official contacts at CU Boulder yet, but knows students from CU are going to be at the event.
“It’s just been spreading like wildfire,” Martinez said.
She said she is expecting more than 1000 people at the rally, and has talked to people as far as Arizona and Wyoming who want to attend.
Stephanie Wilenchek, director of the GLBT Resource Center in Willard Hall, said the resource center at CU only recently found out about the plan over fall break, and is still working out its involvement in the event.
According to Wilenchek, the resource center should have a more specific plan later in the week. Fliers about the event were already printed in the office.
“We’re just now trying to get the word out,” Wilenchek said.
Martinez said the group hasn’t arranged for transportation from the various universities to Denver, but interested students are using the facebook group to arrange carpools.
The facebook group’s main page lists the names of organizers at CSU and asks that demonstrators keep the event peaceful.