3:13 pm - Saturday December 17, 2878

Colorado Senate Debates Civil Unions

In a move to give every Colorado family basic legal rights, the Senate
passed civil union legislation (SB 011) on second reading. Next, SB
011 must pass third reading in the Senate before it moves to the House
of Representatives.

Senator Pat Steadman (D-Denver) and Senator Lucia Guzman (D-Denver)
co-prime sponsored the bill, as well as Speaker Mark Ferrandino and
Representative Sue Schafer in the House of Representatives.

A civil union (SB 011) would afford, two people, regardless of gender,
the following:

Responsibility to financially support one another
Property rights
Protections against discrimination based upon spousal status
Rights within the probate laws
The ability to adopt a partner’s child
Protections under domestic violence laws
Legal rights relating to medical care and treatment and hospital visitation
Eligibility for family leave benefits
Other rights and responsibilities

“We should welcome all loving families into the fabric of our society,
and also within the fabric of our laws. Colorado law should afford
equal protection to all our residents. I am proud that justice
prevailed today, and confident it will prevail in the end this
session,” said Sen. Steadman.

“All Coloradans deserve a chance to live a happy, prosperous life with
the family they love,” said Sen. Guzman.

If SB 011 is passed, Colorado will be the ninth state to have civil
unions or a similar policy; while nine other states and D.C. offer
full marriage equality. A May 2012 poll from Keating Research reports
that nearly 75% of Coloradans favor legal recognition of LGBT
partners, whether that be through civil unions or other means. Last
year, civil union legislation was narrowly defeated during the last
days of the regular session. Public outcry over the process prompted
the governor to convene a special session, where it was defeated
again. This is the third consecutive year the legislature has seen
civil union legislation.

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