In Colorado, same-sex marriage remains a hot issue

DENVER (AP) -- Debate over equal rights for same-sex couples consumed state lawmakers in Colorado after President Barack Obama announced he supported gay marriage.

Republicans ultimately succeeded in stopping reconsideration of a measure allowing civil unions earlier this week.

Yet Republicans and Democrats alike in Colorado acknowledge that the emotional standoff over the issue could help shape the White House campaign in the presidential battleground state this fall.

Republicans continue to try to rally the state's large number of religious conservatives who long have been the foot-soldiers in efforts to both oppose civil unions and elect Republicans.

Democrats, in turn, predict that their loyalists, as well as independents, will rally behind Obama in Colorado given his support of gay marriage.

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