A bill which would legalize civil
unions for gay and lesbian couples appears to be dead as the Colorado
legislative session comes to an end.
Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty
on Tuesday announced that lawmakers had reached an impasse on the
“We have reached an impasse,” the
AP quoted McNulty as saying. “It is unfortunate that there will be
items that will not receive consideration by the House tonight
because of this impasse.”
The measure cleared a third and final
House committee to proceed to the floor earlier on Tuesday with the
help of a lone Republican, Representative Cheri Gerou.
On the House floor, Democrats wrangled
with Republicans, accusing them of a filibuster on civil unions.
When Democrats used a procedural move to try to stop debate on other
bills, Republican leaders responded by declaring an indefinite
“They want this bill to be heard
last,” Republican Rep. Mark Waller told reporters. “They want us
to be in this circumstance right now so they can increase their
chances of taking a majority back in the state House next year.”
Democratic Rep. Mark Ferrandino, who
sponsored the measure in the House after a Republican sponsor could
not be found, tweeted: “Saddened to see #civilunions die from games
being played by Republican leadership. We will continue to fight,
this will happen.”
Nearly 30 bills were left unheard,
leaving some hope that the measure could be revived this year during
a special session.
At least five Republicans had indicated
support for civil unions in the House, where Republicans enjoy a 1
seat majority. The Senate earlier approved the measure, and Governor
John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, backed it.