Colorado Civil-Union Bill Passes Critical Republican Hurdle

The Colorado civil-union bill passed a critical hurdle in a House committee Thursday night, reports the Associated Press.

The committee was dominated by Republicans, and the bill had failed in the same place last year. What was different this year? The change of heart by Rep. B.J. Nikkel (R-Loveland).

According to the Denver Post, Nikkel (swarmed by reporters in the photo at right) had this to say after voting yes, making the total count 6-5: “I think it was the right thing to do. We’re all Coloradans, right? It’s not something I’m passionate about, but I think we ought to move forward and bring it to a vote in the House.”

Her support of the bill wasn’t exactly heartwrenching (in fact she’s downright equivocal, especially given she reps a place called Loveland), but hey: a yes vote from a Republican on gay rights is a yes vote from a Republican on gay rights.

The bill passed the Senate in late April and has the confidence of Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has said he will sign the bill.

The capitol was proudly awash with gay activists, who wore red “One Love” shirts. Here’s an inspiring slideshow with photos from the scene.

Photo via Daniel Gonzales

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #b.j.nikkel #civilunions #colorado stories and more


  • Cam

    The thing that is hilarious, is that a few years ago, the GOP were fighting AGAINST civil unions. Now, because of pushes by groups like Get Equal and lawsuits getting gays marriage, the GOP is so terrified that they are willing to vote for Civil Unions hoping it will stop marriage.

    Sorry bigots, the narrative has moved beyond you.

  • Interesting

    Cam is exactly right.

    They are rushing to get Civil Unions because of the polling data that shows that support for gay marriage is rising so fast that civil unions are considered the default position now.

    Even in NC, where the numbers look really bad for us because the Amendment is likely to pass there’s a large portion of the electorate who does not understand the bill, and when asked in polling (do they support banning denying civil unions) seems to indicate that the amendment would have a harder time passing if people understood they were voting against civil unions and domestic partnerships too.

    I think at this point we are looking at when not if in a lot of states outside of the South.

  • Charli

    I live in the 4th largest city in the country. My mayor is gay .
    I live in the largest state in the lower 48. And yet I wait and wait!!!

  • Hyhybt

    @Interesting: It’s been “when not if” for a while now, INCLUDING the South. It’s just that the “when” will be a bit later here, unless of course something nationwide happens.

  • PTBoat

    Considering that Loveland, CO is a rural farming community that is known for its conservative politics, this was a brave move by Nikkel, however much she downplayed it.

  • DenverBarbie

    I might have said it here before, but this is the rare exception in which I feel putting CUs/marriage to the polls is wiser. Surveys show that over 70-some% of Coloradans support civil unions, while the repubs in the House stay reluctant. More impressive, around 55% of CO voters say they would vote in favor of marriage.
    The representatives are not doing their jobs, as they aren’t reflective of the ideas expressed by the citizens they allegedly speak for.
    Nevertheless, I think this is poised to pass by a tiny margin on Monday or Tuesday.

  • 1equalityUSA

    It is so demeaning to have whole states and whole Senates voting on our inalienable rights.

Comments are closed.