Saturday, April 02, 2011

No Same-sex Civil Unions in Colorado

The Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee ended prospects for any type of same-sex civil unions or "marriage" on a party-line vote of 6 to 5. The state Senate had earlier approved such a bill.

UPDATE 5/19/12: Civil unions bill dies in legislature but then the governor orders legislature to reconsider

-- From "Same-sex civil unions defeated in Colorado legislature" by Keith Coffman, Reuters 4/1/11

The bill would have allowed gays and lesbians to make medical decisions for their partners and become eligible for insurance and retirement benefits.

The committee heard seven hours of emotional testimony from the bill' s supporters and opponents before casting their votes late Thursday night.

Denver's Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput said in a recent column in the archdiocesan newspaper that a civil union law was unnecessary because Colorado law already protects "a variety of non-marital domestic arrangements."

In 2006, Colorado voters defeated a same-sex marriage ballot initiative.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "GOP lawmakers kill civil unions bill" by Eli Stokols, Political Reporter, KDVR-TV / Baltimore Sun 4/1/11

Democrats bristled as soon as House leadership sent Senate Bill 172, which passed the Senate last week with three GOP votes joining Democrats in support, sent the measure to the House Judiciary Committee.

All week, supporters lobbied the committee's six GOP lawmakers, especially the two who seemed the most likely to swing: Loveland Reps. Brian Delgrosso and B.J. Nikkel.

Those who testified against the bill primarily referred to scripture, often quoting Leviticus, some arguing that recognizing civil unions was the same as endorsing gay marriage, others arguing that being gay is a choice.

"This bill is an abomination," Pastor Roger Anghis told the committee.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Quiet Republicans quash Colorado civil unions bill" by John Tomasic, The Colorado Independent 4/1/11

During an emotional eight-hour hearing on same-sex civil unions at the capitol in Denver Thursday . . . The five committee Democrats took turns agreeing and disagreeing with witnesses, debating theology, Constitutional history and the horrors of the Jim Crow South and the Holocaust. The six members of the majority bloc Republicans on the committee, however, had little to say. They watched and listened and, without really elaborating their positions, voted as a bloc against sending the legislation to the full House for debate and a vote. They stone-cold killed the bill.

After the vote, Committee Chair Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, told the Independent the main reason he voted against the bill was that Colorado voters had already made their will known on civil unions, when in 2006 they voted for Amendment 43, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and against Referendum I, which would have established civil union domestic partnerships.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "GOP shoots down civil unions" by Gene Davis, Denver Daily News Staff Writer 4/1/11

The committee hearing was more personal than most political proceedings. [The bill's Democrat sponsor Rep. Mark] Ferrandino, who is gay, revealed that he has been looking to adopt a child with his long term partner. Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, told the committee about her gay sister who has had to jump through legal hurdles to ensure her and her partners’ kids would be protected if anything happened.

Pro-gay rights activists said after the committee hearing that they would not be deterred from seeking civil unions. Many pointed to the large turnout of young people who were in favor of civil unions as a positive sign for their cause.

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee and most pro-gay activists said it is only a matter of time until the entire U.S. legalizes civil unions or marriages for gay couples. But most added that they hoped to see civil unions in Colorado sooner rather than later.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.