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March 23, 2011

Category: Marriage, Civil Unions, Colorado

Colorado Senate Passes Civil Unions Bill

The bill will next be considered by the House of Representatives

3/24/2011

WASHINGTON – Today, The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, commends the Colorado Senate for passing a comprehensive civil unions bill. The legislation passed by a 23 to 12 vote, and now moves to the House of Representatives.

“Legislators in Colorado have taken an important action to advance equality for all Coloradans,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “We call on the Colorado House to swiftly follow the Senate’s lead on this crucial legislation.”

SB 127, introduced by Senator Pat Steadman, would allow both same-sex and opposite-sex couples to enter into civil unions giving couples all of the rights, benefits, and obligations of marriage under state law, but would not allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses.

Currently, five states have laws providing an expansive form of state-level relationship recognition for same-sex couples, without offering marriage.  California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington provide same-sex couples with access to almost of all the state level benefits and responsibilities of marriage, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships. Earlier this year, the governors of Hawaii and Illinois signed into law civil unions bills. Couples in Illinois can begin applying for civil union licenses on June 1, 2011 and in Hawaii couples can begin applying on Jan. 1, 2012.

Same-sex couples do not receive federal rights and benefits in any state.  View an electronic map showing relationship recognition in the states.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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