Same sex benefits remain in Pueblo

POSTED: 05:25 PM MST Nov 20, 2012 
Pueblo, CO -

Pueblo’s same-sex benefits ordinance will remain. A petition to overturn the ordinance failed to get the required number of signatures.

Petitioners got 1,509 signatures, that’s 372 more signatures more than they needed. The petition failed short by just 17 votes.

“17 is my new lucky number,” said Daneya Esgar with the Colorado Progressive Coalition.

She said she was relieved.

“My heart is running over right now that Pueblo is going to remain an equal city,” said Esgar.

The referendum petition was to overturn same-sex benefits for city employees. The ordinance that was passed by city council several weeks ago.

City Clerk Gina Dutcher has worked on several petitions in the past.

“It’s never been this close” said Dutcher.

A few technicalities are to blame, mainly dates do not match up.

“Anytime you notarize something the concept is you sign in front of the notary. The date of signatures didn't match. The circulator of the petition did not sign in front of the notary because the dates are different,” said Dutcher.

All the signatures that circulator brought in had to be thrown out.

“17 is very close and from what I understand it was a few technicalities. In the end equality for all families won out in Pueblo,” said Esgar.

There’s nothing else that can be done. Those who were trying to pass the petition only had 30 days to gather the signatures and  they turned in the petition on the 30th day.

Another big reason some signatures didn’t count was because they were signed by people who did not live in the city limits.