A bill which would recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions tentatively cleared the Colorado Senate on Wednesday.

According to The Associated Press, the bill, sponsored by Democratic Senator Pat Steadman, cleared the chamber on an unrecorded voice vote. Senators overwhelmingly approved the measure last year before it died in a Republican-controlled House committee.

Steadman shared his perspective on the issue as a gay man.

“Why is this important?” Steadman asked colleagues. “It's because life happens to people. People have babies. People adopt children. People have accidents. People end up in the hospital.”

“Are we not as human as you?” he asked.

Senator Nancy Spence, a Republican, reiterated her support for the measure.

“The Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, must continue to champion civil liberties,” she said.

Supporters in the House have said they are looking for a Republican sponsor for the measure. However, the legislative session is coming to a close in a few weeks.

A poll released earlier this month found that seventy-five percent of Colorado voters support recognizing gay couples with either marriage (47%) or civil unions (28%). Only 22 percent said there should be no legal recognition whatsoever for the relationships of gay couples.