Speaker Mark Ferrandino said, “We are fulfilling a promise that we made at the end of last session to the people of Colorado, that we would get things done.”
In 2006, voters in Colorado approved an amendment to the state constitution that defined marriage as “a union between a man and a woman,” but the Denver Post reports that on Tuesday the state Senate passed a bill approving “civil unions” between same-sex partners. The legislation will be signed into law by Governor Jonh Hickenlooper in May, but same-sex marriage activists have said they will “keep pushing for recognition of marriage itself.”
This is the third year that supporters have presented the bill in the Senate, but until now it did not have enough support to pass. Speaker Mark Ferrandino, who is himself gay, said the legislation is “about love, family and equality under the law … This wasn’t a choice. This is who I am. This is who we are. We need to make laws in our society that respect everyone equally.” Senator Pat Steadman, who has sponsored the bill for the last three years said, “We’re not there yet. I don’t want anyone to think that we somehow reached the peak. Civil unions are not marriage. They are something that are separate and distinct and lesser and unequal, and that really is not good enough.” But he also points out that it is a step in the right direction, and that “civil unions offer protections for children and families.”
Colorado is now the 18th state in the US to legally recognize same-sex partnerships in some form, whether it be by legal marriage, domestic partnership, or civil unions.
Photo: AP/Ed Andrieski