Colorado Senator Pat Steadman says
there is no pleasing Catholic groups on civil unions and he is done
Steadman, who is openly gay, is the
Senate sponsor of a bill which seeks to recognize gay and lesbian
couples with civil unions.
It is Steadman's third attempt with the
measure. In previous sessions, Republicans who controlled the House
blocked the proposals from reaching the House floor. Rather than
allowing a vote on the bill last year, Republicans shut down voting
altogether, killing nearly two dozen unrelated measures.
Democrats regained control of the House
in November and elected Mark Ferrandino, an openly gay man who
sponsored the bill in the House last year, as House speaker, nearly
assuring passage in the chamber.
This year's version no longer exempts
adoption agencies from placing children with gay couples. The change
prompted Catholic groups to threaten to shut down their adoption
“We feel it would be a very sad
commentary if Colorado forced religious institutions or those who
believe in a different framework to do something against their
conscience,” Mark Rohlena, president and CEO of Catholic Charities
of Central Colorado told Catholic News Agency.
Rohlena said his organization “probably
would cease the operation of our adoption programs” if told it
could not discriminate against gay couples in civil unions.
Steadman noted that the Catholic Church
fought against the bill last year when it had the exemption.
“Near as I can tell, there's no
pleasing them, so I'm not even going to try,” Steadman told The
The Colorado Catholic Conference will
stage a protest rally against passage of the civil unions bill at the
State Capitol in Denver on Friday, January 25.
The bill's first committee hearing is
set for Wednesday in the Senate.