Colorado’s civil unions bill today cleared its first legislative hurdle as it passed 5-2 before the state Senate Judiciary Committee. A similar bill failed last year.
Hundreds of people packed a hearing room at the Capitol to plead with lawmakers to give them legal protections traditional couples enjoy. The issue has gained traction as more states have recently passed either civil union or gay marriage laws. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper urged lawmakers to pass civil unions during his State of the State speech last month, and more Republicans have expressed public support for the measure. The bill, passed on a 5-2 vote with one Republican senator joining Democrats, is expected to easily clear the full Senate. The real challenge will be in the Republican-controlled House.
One Colorado reacts via press release.
“We applaud today’s vote to ensure that all committed couples have the tools they need to provide for the ones they love. Especially in these difficult economic times, gay and lesbian couples need civil unions to take care of their families. “Today’s testimony reflects the widespread support for this legislation. Business executives and faith leaders, Republicans and Democrats, gay parents and straight allies all realize that passing civil unions is the right thing to do. “With their approval, the Senators on the Judiciary Committee affirmed that all families are worthy of dignity and respect.”