A group of Colorado Republicans is
organizing in support of a civil unions bill for gay and lesbian
The group Coloradans for Freedom is
headed by Jefferson County attorney Mario Nicolais and has formed
specifically to support a proposed civil unions bill, The
Denver Post reported.
The group believes that allowing gay
couples to form a civil union is consistent with the Republican
philosophy of individual freedom.
“The point is not to create conflict
within the Republican Party,” Nicolais told the paper. “It's to
provide resources to people interested in the conservative argument
for civil unions.”
Last year, a civil unions bill died in
a Republican-controlled House committee after the Senate had approved
the measure. Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment
banning gay marriage in 2006. An effort last year to repeal the
Senator Pat Steadman of Denver is
expected to re-introduce the bill in the upcoming legislative
session, which begins January 11.
House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino,
who sponsored the bill in the House last year, is waiting to see if a
Republican will sign on.
“I'm glad to see a group of leaders
on the right coming out and saying, 'If we are for limited
government, we should be for civil unions,'' Ferrandino said. “It
can't do anything but help the chances of a civil unions bill passing
gay Mark Ferrandino elected Colorado House minority leader.)