Main | Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Civil Unions Pass Colorado Senate

As some had predicted, Colorado's civil unions bill passed in the state Senate today. Now comes the tougher fight in the state House.
Senators approved the measure on an unrecorded voice vote Wednesday after several shared personal experiences to argue in favor of adopting legal protections for all unmarried couples and their children. The Senate will take one more vote before the measure heads to the House, where a similar bill was rejected last year. Colorado voters banned gay marriage through a constitutional amendment in a 2006. However, civil union protections could be enacted without a vote by the people.

Democratic Sen. Pat Steadman, as he has in the past, argued for his civil union bill, speaking from his perspective as a gay man in a committed relationship. Steadman held up thick, heavy books of Colorado law to illustrate how many legal protections are available only to married couples. Steadman argued that boring nuts-and-bolts aspects of Colorado probate law make life unduly complicated for unmarried couples. "Why is this so important?" Steadman asked. "It's because life happens to people. People have babies. People adopt children. People have accidents. People end up in the hospital."
Last year a civil unions bill failed to pass its House subcommittee by one vote. It's not yet known when this year's bill will be considered, but the current legislative session ends very soon.

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