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
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.