Republicans kill civil unions bill in Colorado special session
Monday night Colorado’s general assembly rejected a bill that would have authorized civil unions for same sex couples in the state. The bill, which had been killed by filibuster in the regular session, resurfaced in the House’s special session, only to be killed in committee by a vote of 5-4, according to the Associated Press.
Minority leader Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D-District 2) said in the hearing, “This is an issue that, in 20 years, or less, people will ask, ‘Why was this an issue? Why did people care about this? Why did we deny people equal access under the law?’ Because this is going to happen. It’s just a matter of when it’s going to happen and who’s going to stand in the way.”
Conservative commentator and senior counsel with the conservative group the Alliance Defense Fund Brian Raum said before the committee, “Civil Union laws absolutely undermine the case for marriage. Make no mistake about it. A vote for this bill is a vote for same sex marriage. In every U.S. jurisdiction where civil unions or domestic partnerships have been enacted, those who advocated for them subsequently rejected them as inadequate and demanded that marriage be redefined.”
The bill (PDF), which authorized the state to allow “any 2 unmarried adults, regardless of gender, to enter into a civil union,” allowed individuals entering a civil union to adopt children together, list one another as beneficiaries in retirement plans or other state-issued employee benefits, and the right to make decisions about a partner’s remains.
An opponent of civil unions, Nancy Higgs, interviewed by the AP after the hearing said she didn’t have a problem with LGBT people but “what I have a problem with the threat to marriage, and that’s what I feel this bill is.”
Watch the video, broadcast by the AP on May 15: