CO Gov Calls Special Session Of Legislature To Address Civil Unions

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is calling for a special session of the State Legislature to address a civil-unions measure after a filibuster by House Republicans made it impossible to vote on it by the end of the regular session yesterday.

In an emotional address, Hickenlooper (right) said depriving gay couples the right to form civil unions was “depriving people of their civil rights.”

“I spent a long time in the restaurant business,” Hickenlooper said. “A lot of people who helped us create that business didn’t have the same amount of rights as everybody else.

“I had a call yesterday from one of them just to ask, ‘If not now, when?’ “

Of course, there’s no guarantee the civil-unions bill wouldn’t face similar stalling tactics in a special session: Even though Democrats said they had enough support to pass it, Republicans control the House 33-32.

House Speaker Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch)—who has frequently and erroneously called SB 172 a gay-marriage amendment—has been targeted as the architect of the bill’s demise. Responding to Hickenlooper’s statement on Wednesday, McNulty said, “If the governor chooses to take up gay marriage as part of his special session call, then the governor has the right to do that.”

No start or end date for this special session has been announced, though the Governor’s office said more details would be forthcoming.

Photo: World Economic Forum