A bill which seeks to recognize the
relationships of gay and lesbian couples with civil unions cleared
its first hurdle in the Colorado General Assembly on Wednesday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved
Senate Bill 11 on a 3-2 party-line vote, The
Denver Post reported.
Senator Lucia Guzman, an openly gay
Democrat from Denver, said the vote has been “years in the making.”
“There are those here today who spent
years hiding, hiding the truth from their parents, friends, bosses,
even hiding from themselves,” she said.
Christian conservative groups which
oppose the measure, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and
CitizenLink, the political arm of Focus on the Family, said the
measure threatened religious freedom.
Carrie Gordon Earll with CitizenLink
warned that the ultimate goal for Democrats is extending marriage
rights to gay and lesbian couples.
However, a constitutional amendment
approved by voters in 2006 limits marriage to heterosexual couples.
With Democrats in control of both
chambers and Governor John Hickenlooper a supporter, passage appears
The bill now heads to the
If the bill is approved, Colorado would
join 5 other states – Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island
and Hawaii – which offer the union.