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GOP House committee kills Colorado Civil Union Act — again

By Nic Garcia
Out Front Colorado
Monday, May 14, 2012

Updated: 9:00 p.m. MT

DENVER — Despite being given a second chance by Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Republican state House committee on Monday evening killed the Colorado Civil Union Act on a party-line vote, 5-4.

The decision came after about four hours of testimony.

Supporters of the bill had hoped Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, who is the father of a gay son, would be a swing vote. However, he told a crowd of more than 300 the bill was too similar to same-sex marriage and a “yes” vote would invalidate a 2006 voter approved amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman.

Coram also said he thought the bill was being used for political gain.

Rep. Mark Ferrandino at a civil unions rally held on the steps of the Denver City and County
building Thursday. (Out Front Colorado photo by Sean Mullins.)

“I’m concerned that the gay community is being used as a political pawn,” he said. “(Civil unions) only came up when we had a split house. And I think that’s wrong because these are great people.”

Supporters argued they need rights to protect their families.

“Our relationship is the centerpiece, and backbone of our family,” said Denver gay man Jason Cobb. “Our son is supposed to see parents as committed to each other as they are to him.”

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, a Democrat, also weighed in on the issue.

“Civil unions is important to our entire community, state and country,” he said. “… I hope this comes to pass on your watch and you don’t defer it to someone else.”

Opponents argued that the bill would redefine marriage in Colorado and that it goes against the will of Coloradans.

“This is not simply a religious issue,” James Flynn of the Denver Archdiocese said. “This is an issue of common sense. It is also a matter of long tradition. Marriage is the fundamental cornerstone of humanity.

“We as state, if we want our kids to do as best they can, we need to make sure they grow up with their own father and mother,” Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family.

Hickenlooper, a Democrat, called for the special session to discuss this bill and six others — giving House Republicans the time they claimed they need to debate the bill.

The bill, sponsored by Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino and Sen. Pat Steadman, would have expand legal relationship recognition for same-sex couples here. Both Ferrandino and Steadman are gay Denver Democrats.

The legislation was re-introduced this morning and assigned to the State Affairs Committee.

Supporters of the bill were fearful heading into the hearing. There was no confirmed “yes” vote.

The bill was originally introduced on the first day of the legislature’s regular session, Jan. 11. About a month later, it cleared two Senate committees.

Steadman then held the bill for two more months while he and Ferrandino courted House Republicans to sponsor the bill. They hoped a GOP sponsor would ensure passage to the full floor of the House.

Republicans enjoy a one-vote advantage in the House, 33-32.

Continue reading at Out Front Colorado

© OutFront Colorado.
An LGBTQ Nation media partner.

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22 more reader comments:

  1. I live in Colorado (in an especially Republican county). There’s a move to get marriage equality on the November ballot as an amendment, but there’s probably not enough time.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:09pm
  2. You just gotta love ‘progress’…oh sorry, it’s only for those who agree with their dogmatic BS and hypocrisy…

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:11pm
  3. i live in idaho…a red state as well….sendin good vibes…hope it works owt

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:14pm
  4. Maggie – remember Amendment 2? Colorado in 1995 voted to essentially strip most civil rights from gay people … I do not think the majority voting on minority rights is a good thing.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:14pm
  5. I agree, Maggie – it sucks!

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:35pm
  6. If the GOP kills the bill hang them you know where.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:36pm
  7. perhaps it’s time to make a liberal army for defense of human rights?

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 6:48pm
  8. To Lyons: A liberal army to depose the radical Xtian Taliban that’s hijacked the GOP!

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:01pm
  9. The backlash begun in North Carolina….

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:04pm
  10. I live in NC :((( My girlfriend lives in CO

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:09pm
  11. This is what voting against this bill did to the LGBTQ community. You now know the face of evil, vote these bigots from office and make sure they never get there again while you still breathe.
    http://youtu.be/pR9gyloyOjM

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:10pm
  12. Tragic that discrimination runs so deep and so swift.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:10pm
  13. Pricks!

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:53pm
  14. This is too sad. I had hope for my state!

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 9:51pm
  15. Pennsylvania is probably…ridiculous

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 10:29pm
  16. :(

    Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 1:37am
  17. Jesus, why do your people hate us?
    We didn’t ask to be born this way
    What in the world did we ever do?
    We didn’t ask to be gay.

    Jesus, why do your people hate us?
    It makes me wonder if you feel like they do?
    Would you deny equal rights to all lovers?
    I ask, again, what would Jesus do?

    I didn’t choose, I was chosen
    And I won’t deny all you’ve done
    I believe you sent me to tell them
    That in your heaven, there is only love.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 2:20am
  18. Shame!

    Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 2:30am
  19. They’re on the wrong side of history.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 2:35am
  20. Not surprising at all. All I need to say is: Colorado Springs

    Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 5:25am
  21. Why have so many people ‘liked’ this article? Im confused? All followers of this blog should be concerned about the rights and status of gays and lesbians in this increasingly undemocratic country…not encouraging hatred, exclusion and segregation of gays.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 5:44am
  22. Bastards!!

    Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 7:10am