In just five short years, Colorado has "quietly" transformed from a state at the forefront of the culture war on gay, lesbian, and transgender lifestyles to one of the most welcoming states, according to The Denver Post, which reports that same-sex couples across the state now enjoy many of the same benefits as their straight and married counterparts. Democrats, to use the words of state Senator Josh Penry, a Republican critic, are establishing civil unions "through the installment plan" even though voters in 2006 rejected the idea and also defined marriage as between a man and a woman in the state Constitution. But attitudes seem to be changing, as the efforts of Ethan McNamee, a Denver third-grader, illustrate. He led a rally at the state Capitol Saturday for same-sex marriage, citing concern about anti-gay remarks on the playground, asÂ 7News reports. Meanwhile, same-sex marriage, abortion, and other conservative issues are on the opposition agenda no matter whom President Barack Obama appoints to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to memos obtained byÂ The New York Times. Still, the diminishing financial power of conservative religious groups like Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family could mean the end of an era in the culture wars. As U.S. News & World ReportÂ writes, Focus patriarch James Dobson has given up his political fight against the "utter evil that's coming out of the United States Congress," a.k.a. the bill meant to protect gays and lesbians against hate crimes.