Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Colorado: Civil Unions bill moves forward in state Senate


The Colorado Civil Union Act cleared its first vote in the state Senate today.

The bill, sponsored by Denver Democrat Pat Steadman, and co-sponsored by every other Democratic member of the Senate, passed after a debate mostly focused on reciprocity, or how Colorado would recognize civil unions and same-sex marriages from other states like Iowa and Illinois.

If the legislation becomes law, it would establish a new form of relationship recognition for both same-sex couples and heterosexuals. Most of the protections and rights married Coloradan couples would also be made available to those couples in civil unions.

The bill will have one more vote tomorrow and is expected to be passed. It will then head to the Republican controlled House where Rep. Mark Ferrandino will sponsor it. A co-sponsor, and out lawmaker, Rep. Sue Schafer said the bill would probably be introduced in a week.

Brad Clark, executive director of One Colorado, a statewide GLBT advocacy organization, applauded the vote:

“Today is a tremendous victory for gay and lesbian couples across the state—and for all fair-minded Coloradans,” Clark said. “We look forward to working with House Republican leadership who have promised a fair hearing. Issues of significant importance with overwhelming public support like civil unions deserve a full and fair hearing with an up-or-down vote by the entire House.”

(from Out Front Colorado)
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