Civil Union Bill Approved in Colorado Senate

Colorado likes to fashion itself as a rogue state. And, while it’s not quite marriage, the Colorado Senate gave initial approval of a civil union bill yesterday that will benefit same-sex couples seeking to have their relationships recognized by the state.

Sen. Pat Steadman of Denver said his bill gives gay couples many of the rights and responsibilities of straight couples, but it does not allow marriage. “I think this is a bill that honors commitment and love and responsibility,” he said. “It empowers people to provide economic and financial and emotional security for themselves and their loved ones.”

If you remember, Colorado voters approved a ballot measure to constitutionally ban marriage equality in 2006 but a poll from earlier this month shows that 62% of Coloradans—and a whopping 55% of Republicans!—agree that same-sex couples should have civil unions or marriage rights. The organization One Colorado represents 200 faith leaders and 140 organizations that are in favor of the civil unions bill.

“Civil unions are about commitment,” Brad Clark, executive director of One Colorado, said in a statement. “They’re about responsibility. And they’re about being able to take care of the one you love. Today’s bipartisan vote in the Senate affirms the dignity of all loving families in the state. We look forward to a fair hearing in the House. Issues with overwhelming public support like civil unions deserve an up-or-down vote by all of our Representatives.”

Photo by Evan Semon via