WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, applauded Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and the Colorado legislature today for enacting the Designated Beneficiary Agreement Act. The governor signed the bill into law after it passed the state House of Representatives and Senate last month. The new law, which will take effect on July 1, will permit any two people - regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity - to enter into designated beneficiary agreements that confer specific legal rights and responsibilities, including the right to receive state employee pension benefits, the right to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner, and the right to inherit if a partner dies without a will.
"This is an important step toward equality, and it will provide lesbian and gay couples in Colorado, and their families, with important, tangible protections that are needed right now," said Human Rights Campaign Joe Solmonese. "We congratulate Governor Ritter, Representative Mark Ferrandino, Senator Jennifer Veiga, Equal Rights Colorado, and the many activists, including HRC members, who took action to support this legislation."
"Today is a good day for Colorado and all Coloradans," said Rep. Mark Ferrandino, author of HD 1260. "This new law provides tools that allow individuals to designate the person they wish to make medical and end of life decisions and who will receive inheritance in the absence of a will, among other things. This is a good step towards providing equal treatment under the law for all of Colorado's families."
"We have been simply overwhelmed with the coalition of diverse organizations active in supporting this key legislation," said Mindy Barton of Equal Rights Colorado. " We are excited that this new, low cost, and convenient estate planning tool will become a reality for all Coloradans. These issues are a matter of self-determination and we are glad that the Colorado State Legislature and Governor Ritter have recognized these essential rights."
The Human Rights Campaign activated members in Colorado to contact their legislators, asking them to support the Colorado legislation.
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.
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