Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

Today the Colorado Senate will vote on whether to enact a bill creating civil unions for same-sex couples.

The bill first passed the state Senate in 2012, but was kept from coming up for a vote in the state House by then-Speaker Frank McNulty. This January, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of the bill sending it to the full Senate for consideration. The vote today is on the second reading of the bill, which allows for the longest period of debate and possible amendments to the bill. The bill will need to have a third reading before being sent to the House.  

In 2006 Colorado amended the state constitution to define marriage as only a union between one man and one woman. Then in 2009, the legislature passed a designated beneficiaries law giving very limited rights to same-sex couples, including hospital visitation, medical decision-making and inheritance.

Same-sex couples can marry in nine states and the District of Columbia, representing 15.8 percent of Americans. Civil unions or comprehensive domestic partnerships like those being considered in Colorado are available to same-sex couples in an additional six states.

HRC applauds One Colorado for their tireless work to bring equality to their state, and lead Senate Sponsors Sens. Pat Steadman and Lucia Guzman for bringing the bill to a vote. 

Momentum toward full equality continues to grow.  Visit our Marriage Center for more on HRC’s fight for marriage equality in your state. 

Filed under: Marriage

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