WASHINGTON — LGBT advocacy groups on Tuesday commended the Colorado General Assembly for passing the Colorado Civil Union Act, which provides gay and straight couples the legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities that are granted to married spouses under Colorado state law.
“The Colorado legislature has taken a definitive step forward in the march toward equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin, in a statement.
“The passage of civil unions in the Centennial State is further proof that full equality for committed and loving gay and lesbian couples is in sight. From now on LGBT couples in Colorado will no longer be legal strangers in the eyes of their state, but rather recognized and supported by the law,” said Griffin.
“This is about love and fairness, pure and simple,” said Rea Carey, executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
“Same-sex couples and our families simply want to be treated fairly, as our friends, neighbors and co-workers already are. We want to be able to provide for and protect our families, just as everyone else does. This measure helps make this more possible for all the loving, committed same-sex couples and families throughout Colorado,” said Carey.
Sponsored by Sens. Pat Steadman and Lucia Guzman in the Senate, and Speaker Mark Ferrandino and Rep. Sue Schafer in the House of Representatives, the bill passed the senate last month 21-14, and today 39-26 in the house. As well, advocates at One Colorado, a statewide LGBT advocacy group worked tirelessly to secure passage of this bill, said HRC.
Colorado becomes the eighteenth state – plus Washington, DC – to offer comprehensive benefits and obligations to same-sex couples.
Nine states (Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington) and Washington, DC issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And as of May 1, nine states (California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island) provide the equivalent of state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples within the state.