A bill which would recognize gay and
lesbian couples with civil unions is headed to the Colorado House
after clearing the Senate on Thursday.
After two days of emotional debate,
Senators approved the measure on a 23-12 vote.
The bill's chief sponsor, Democratic
Senator Pat Steadman, shared his perspective on the issue as a gay
“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
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.
The proposal now heads to the
Republican-controlled House, where it faces an uncertain future.
A House committee considering the
measure killed the bill last year after the Senate gave its approval.
This year, supporters spent months
looking for a House Republican to sponsor the bill but were
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