Faith leaders in Colorado have formed a coalition to lobby in favour of same-sex marriage.

The group, Faithful Voices for Strong Families so far has the backing of over 215 religious leaders, from a range of different faiths.

A statement from the group said: “As people of faith, we believe in practicing the Golden Rule, treating others as we would want to be treated.

“All loving and committed couples deserve to be treated with respect, and the freedom to marry gives them that respect.”

Rabbi Benjamin Arnold, of the Congregation Beth Evergreen, said: “I see no legal, rational, social, spiritual, or Biblical basis for denying same-sex couples the rights and responsibilities of marriage.

“As a member of a minority faith, I regard state and federal bans on such marriages as an infringement upon my community’s constitutional right to freedom of religious expression.”

Reverend Bonnie Spencer, of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, said: “As a Christian and a clergyperson in the Episcopal Church, I support marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples in Colorado.

“I believe these committed couples should be able to participate fully in their faith communities and in our society by having the freedom to marry.”

The initiative has won backing across a whole range of faith groups, including from Quakers, Methodists, Episcopalians, Unitarians, Hindus, Muslims and Jewish Reform churches.

Same-sex civil unions have been legal in Colorado since 2013, but same-sex marriages are currently banned by the state’s constitution.