News (USA)

Colorado state Senate passes civil unions bill in first of two votes

DENVER — The Colorado State Senate on Wednesday passed a bill legalizing Civil Unions for gay couples. This is one of two votes required by the Senate, and if it passes again, the bill will go on to the House before being signed into law.

Out Front Colorado reports:

If the legislation becomes law, it would establish a new form of relationship recognition for both same-sex couples and heterosexuals.

Most of the protections and rights married Colorado couples have would also be made available to those couples in civil unions.

The bill will have one more vote tomorrow and is expected to be passed. It will then head to the Republican-controlled House where Rep. Mark Ferrandino will sponsor it. A co-sponsor, and out lawmaker, Rep. Sue Schafer said the bill would probably be introduced in a week.

Several Democrats, and one Republican, voiced support of the bill.

The bill passed its second Senate Committee hearing on March 11 relatively easily, and is expected to pass the second full-Senate vote tomorrow without any problems. The issue is going to be the House, where Republicans hold a slim majority.

Since 2006, the Colorado General Assembly has enacted several pieces of legislation benefiting the LGBT community, including designated beneficiaries and second-parent adoption.

Two polls during the last two years have also shown a sea-change in support of relationship recognition.

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