Civil-unions group sends mailers that target GOP

DENVER – A Colorado pro-civil unions group targeting vulnerable Republicans began its efforts Tuesday with a lawmaker whose narrow victory two years ago gave the GOP control of the House and the fate of legislation for same-sex couples.

The organization called “Fight Back Colorado” said Jefferson County Rep. Robert Ramirez will be the first lawmaker targeted with mailers. The group formed in June with the goal of helping defeat Republicans who oppose civil unions.

Ramirez never voted on the legislation, but the group notes that he was at a rally to support traditional marriage the day after the bill was defeated during a special session in May.

Ramirez said he supports strengthening gay rights, but that the civil-union bill resembled marriage too much.

The district he represents is crucial to both parties. In 2010, he defeated an incumbent Democrat by 197 votes, giving Republicans control of the House for the first time since 2004, and the leverage to stop civil unions the past two years.