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Colorado Senate OKs civil unions bill

Advocates hope for fair hearing in the House

The Colorado Senate has approved a civil unions bill that now moves to the House.

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Colorado Senate today gave bipartisan approval to SB-2, the Colorado Civil Union Act.

The law would enable any 2 unmarried adults, regardless of gender, to form a legally-recognized, committed relationship subject to most of the provisions in state law that apply to married couples, including: Critical legal protections and responsibilities, such as the ability to take family leave to care for a partner, to make medical and end-of-life decisions for a partner, to live together in a nursing home, and to adopt children together.

A similar bill was killed by conservative Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee last year.

“Civil unions are about commitment. They’re about responsibility. And they’re about being able to take care of the one you love. Today’s bipartian vote in the Senate affirms the dignity of all loving families in the state,” said Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado, a statewide advocacy organization.

“We look forward to a fair hearing in the House. Issues with overwhelming public support like civil unions deserve an up-or-down vote by all of our Representatives,” he said.

An April 2012 Public Policy Polling poll showed 62 percent of Coloradans supportive of civil unions, including  82 percent of Democrats, and 75 percent of Independents. Republicans support for either civil unions or marriage for same-sex couples is at about 55 percent, according to the poll.

“Civil unions will allow committed couples to share in the responsibilities and protections in Colorado law that most families take for granted. Our society is stronger when we promote personal responsibility and taking care of one another, and civil unions do just that,” said Senator Pat Steadman, sponsor of the bill.

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