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In Special Legislative Session, Colorado Rejects Civil Unions Again

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A special session of the Colorado legislature was called to debate a civil-unions bill, which had cleared multiple key hurdles. But once again Republicans defeated the measure in a 5-4 vote along party lines.

According to the Denver Post, a GOP lawmaker with a gay son cast a deciding vote against the bill. Writes the Post:

Even committee member Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, who has a gay son, said he couldn’t vote for the bill. He cited the 2006 vote by Coloradans to ban gay marriage.

“What you’re asking me to do here is invalidate the vote of six years ago,” Coram said. “I’m concerned that the gay community is being used as a political pawn. For four years we had a Democrat governor, a Democrat House and a Democrat Senate. The issue never came up. It only came up when we got a split house. I think that’s wrong.”

Said Representative Mark Ferrandino of Denver (right), an openly gay sponsor of the bill, according to the New York Times:

“We saw this bill die even though a majority of members of the Senate and a majority of members of the House and the governor, as well as a vast majority of Coloradans, want to see this become law. It is very unfortunate. Families across Colorado are going to have to wait longer for equal rights in our state.”

Click through for more photos from the heartbreaking event.

Photos via Daniel Gonzales

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By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           May 15, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 9 Comments
    • PTBoat
      PTBoat

      The bill was immediately placed into a Republican dominated committee so that it couldn’t come up for general vote. It was a procedural maneuver that was meant to keep the bill from the floor and to thus kill it. Colorado, and its legislature, certainly did not vote civil unions down. Republican representatives played games with the vote.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • continuum
      continuum

      Your headline is wrong. It should say Republican house speaker kills gay equality bill by giving it to bigoted Republican controlled sub-committee to die.

      Without mentioning the Republican part, your headline gives the impression that the bill wouldn’t have passed.

      The equality bill would pass if given a fair full vote of the house.

      May 15, 2012 at 11:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DenverBarbie
      DenverBarbie

      I spent all day yesterday raging against Rep. McNulty, but I think today the anger ought to also really be directed at Rep. Coram. I sent him a very brief note last night-
      “Rep. Coram,
      To be brief, and blunt, to protect your family is at the very core of what it is to be a parent. It feels nothing short of painfully ironic that the testifying gay and lesbian families who suffered as a result of your deciding vote had exhibited this while you failed to. You mentioned your love for your (gay) son, but voted in a way that does nothing to protect him.
      Quite frankly, Rep. Coram, if you do not understand what it takes to be a strong family, you have no right voting upon what it is to be one.”

      And while yesterday was awful, I was not an anomaly in leaving the room visibly distraught, there are a few items to celebrate. Such as the vehement support from the four “yes” voters on the committee. All three (or rather, the only three) female representatives were fiercely and securely on our side. Rep. Lois Court was crying when she screamed her “yes” during the vote, and Cristina Duran was emotional as she shamed constituents who had sent her emails telling her to vote otherwise. Also, and perhaps this is so bittersweet it’s not worth mentioning as celebratory, the bill had the support in the House as a whole had it made it through. We had more than enough Republicans to secure civil unions for the first time ever. That is progress, no matter upsetting.

      May 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DenverBarbie
      DenverBarbie

      Whew! Excuse my wretched grammar! Yikes!

      May 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mikel D McGrew
      Mikel D McGrew

      Fine way to support your child. Apparently he does not love him enough to stand up for his rights. If I were Coram’s son, I would disown my father. When parents fail to support their children, why should children care about them. Denver BArbie – I applaud your action in writing to this bigot!

      May 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Storm
      Storm

      My partner and I happened to be visiting Denver for a couple of days and decided to tour the capitol building on Monday. It was then that we learned of the civil unions hearings taking place later that day. We decided to stay and sat through the entire six-hour proceeding. When Republican Don Coram began to speak so glowingly of how very proud he was of his proud gay son, I thought for a moment that the bill would pass the committee and move on to the full house. But then came the most chilling moment of the day when Coram cast his cowardly vote to kill the bill without giving it a chance on the full floor.

      I don’t have a son, but if I did I would rather cut off my hands and resign my position than to vote, for any reason, to strip my son of rights and civil protections and to make my son a second-class citizen. Of all the lies and distortions and made-up facts that were spouted in that chamber, it is this single stunning moment that continues to disturb me, how a man could use his son in such a way and then carve such a wound.

      May 16, 2012 at 5:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      I’m utterly speechless, and that is not easy to do. This “man” certainly is a piece of work. It takes a real politician to throw their own son under the buss.

      May 16, 2012 at 8:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1equalityUSA
      1equalityUSA

      Storm, thanks for your input and story.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 13Zeroither
      13Zeroither

      another disgusting human, I’m not surprised. Just like my homophobic ‘love the sinner hate the sin crap’ sister.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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