It didn't take long for jabs to start flying in the race for the governors office. Just hours after being named Gubernatorial Candidate Bob Beuaprez's running mate. Some are saying Janet Rowland compared homosexuality to beastiality.
On March 17 Janet Rowland appeared on Rocky Mountain PBS's Colorado state of mind to debate the topic of gay marriage. As part of her argument the Mesa County Commissioner posed the question- where do you draw the line? She Supported the question with this statement, "Homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle. That doesn't make it marriage. Some people have group sex– should we allow two men and three women to marry? Should we allow polygamy with one man and five wives? For some beastiality is an alternative lifestyle. Do we allow a man to marry a sheep? At some point we have to draw the line."
That statement the Lieutenant Governor hopeful made has members of the gay community enraged. They say they're insulted over what they say is an inflammatory and polarizing comment. Jeff Basinger with the Grand Valley Marriage Equality Counsel says, "She (Rowland) said we have to draw the line somewhere and her line is between one man and one woman. Thirty other countries around the world have legalized some type of recognition for same sex couples and they have not taken that next ludicrous analogy step into beastiality, polygamy and pedophilia. Rowland responded by saying maybe she took it "over the edge too far" but it was kind of a shock value that she was trying to get to in the course of a debate.
Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Ritter's office sent out an e–mail to media with a link of the audio from the show. Martelle Daniels a Ritter Campaign Coordinator says Rowlands comments are derogatory, they're insensitive, and what Bill sees as the future of Colorado is that we come together. Rowland says she and Bueaprez have no problem with homosexuality, and it's not a judgment thing, at all it's just simply that they believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Rowland adds that she thinks the average Coloradan agrees.
This controversy could be a sign of what's to come in the next few months. Many pundits predict this could be the most expensive and contentious gubernatorial campaign in state history.