Civil Unions Pass in Colorado
March 12, 2013 by Tony Wagner, Western Regional Field Director
Today, the Colorado General Assembly passed 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.
HRC President Chad Griffin had this to say about the development:
The Colorado legislature has taken a definitive step forward in the march toward equality. 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.
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. Advocates at One Colorado worked tirelessly to secure passage of this bill. Gov. John Hickenlooper, a vocal supporter of the legislation, is expected to sign the bill into law immediately and couples will be able to apply for a civil union license beginning on May 1.
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.
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