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Colo. civil union ceremonies begin after midnight when new law takes effect

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DENVER — Gay and lesbian couples are expected to line up in Denver and Boulder as civil unions in Colorado become legal just after midnight.

The new law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and both Denver and Boulder will begin issuing licenses immediately.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper gives a thumbs after signing the Civil Unions Act into law on March 21, 2013.
Photo: Evan Semon, Out Front Colorado

The statewide advocacy group One Colorado is hosting a celebration early Wednesday morning at Denver’s Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building. In honor of the occasion, the clerk’s office will be open until 3 a.m. to issue civil union licenses to couples eager to take advantage of their rights under the new law.

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock will attend and will help perform civil union ceremonies. Local judges and magistrates will also be on hand to perform civil union ceremonies.

The Boulder County Clerk and Recorder will stay open until around 2 a.m. to offer licenses.

Other counties will wait until after daybreak to start issuing civil union licenses. El Paso County will begin issuing them at 8 a.m. without any fanfare while some Pueblo County officials and advocates plan an 11 a.m. rally on the steps of the county courthouse followed by a mass civil union ceremony.

Colorado is the eighth state to have civil unions or similar laws. Nine states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill in March, marking the culmination of a dramatic shift in Colorado, where in 1992 voters approved a ban on discrimination protection for gays and in 2006 made gay marriage illegal under the state constitution.

The law allows unmarried couples, both gay and heterosexual, the ability to form civil unions and get rights similar to those of married couples. They include transferring property, making medical decisions, adopting children and qualifying for health insurance and survivor benefits.

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10 more reader comments:

  1. I wouldn’t accept civil unions. I want full marriage or nothing. Civil unions are like throwing us crumbs.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 11:34am
  2. Civil Unions only creates marriage segregation.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 11:36am
  3. Well, it’s baby steps for Colorado…baby steps. They’ll get to true marriage equality eventually.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 11:38am
  4. Yay Colorado!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 11:42am

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 11:43am
  6. I agree but for now doesn’t this help protect both partners under the laws? I believe it is just a matter of time the fight is not over!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 11:52am
  7. civil unions just aren’t the same. enough bullshit. stop yanking the lgbt community around. give us our fair rights.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 11:55am
  8. Its baby steps. Its better than before, though another poster is correct, its bread crumbs and allows for Marriage Segrigation..

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 12:06pm
  9. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 12:14pm
  10. Not me. I will wait for Marriage Equality!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 12:58pm