The Colorado House on Tuesday approved
a bill which recognizes gay and lesbian couples with civil unions.
The 39-26 vote followed a lengthy and
at times emotional debate which took place on Monday.
House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, a
Democrat, has championed civil unions in the House for the last three
legislative sessions. This year, a second openly gay Democrat, Rep.
Sue Schafer, joined Ferrandino in co-sponsoring the bill.
“We should make laws that are equal
for everyone and respect us all,” Ferrandino told colleagues before
Democrats on Monday fended off
amendments aimed at weakening the measure advanced by Republicans.
One amendment called for a public vote on the issue, while a second
sought to restore exemptions for child placement agencies omitted
from last year's bill.
GOP opposition was led by Rep. Bob
Gardner of Colorado Springs, home of the Christian conservative Focus
on the Family.
Denver Post reported that two Republicans, Cheri Gerou of
Evergreen and Carole Murray of Castle Rock, spoke in favor of the
The bill now heads to the desk of
Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, a strong supporter of civil