A bill which seeks to recognize the relationships of gay and lesbian couples with civil unions is scheduled to be debated by the Colorado Senate on Friday morning.

According to Fox 31 Denver, the chamber will take a voice vote on Friday and a final vote on Monday.

While civil unions legislation has failed in the two previous legislative sessions, passage, now that Democrats control both chambers, appears to be a foregone conclusion.

Last year, the Senate approved the measure with the help of 3 Republicans, only to have it die in the GOP-controlled House.

Analysts note that the Senate vote could signal whether Republicans are softening their opposition to gay rights as the state becomes increasingly progressive.

Christian conservative groups which oppose the measure, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and CitizenLink, the political arm of Focus on the Family, have previously said that the measure threatens religious freedom.

Several have warned that the ultimate goal for Democrats is extending marriage rights to gay couples.

However, a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2006 limits marriage to heterosexual couples.

If the bill is approved, Colorado would join 5 other states – Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Hawaii – which offer the union. However, all 5 of those states, along with Minnesota, are expected to consider legalizing gay marriage this year.