Republican lawmakers in Colorado argue
that a recently approved bill which recognizes gay and lesbian
couples with civil unions will face legal challenges.
House lawmakers approved the measure on
Tuesday, nearly one month after it cleared the Senate. Democratic
Governor John Hickenlooper has said he'll sign the bill into law. It
is expected to take effect in May.
Representative Lori Saine, a Republican
from Dacono, is quoted by The
Denver Post as saying that the bill will get a second debate
in a court of law.
“We won't get to debate this again
here, but we will debate this in a court of law,” Saine said.
Republicans attempted to advance
several amendments to the bill as it was debated on the House floor,
pressing for additional exemptions based on religious beliefs,
including returning exemptions for child placement agencies omitted
from last year's bill. Democrats managed to derail all attempts to
amend the bill during a 4-hour debate which appeared to test House
Speaker Mark Ferrandino's patience.
“I don't ask you to put your
relationships up to a vote of the people,” Ferrandino, the bill's
openly gay champion in the House, lashed out at Republicans
attempting to tack on a provision to the bill calling for a public
referendum on the issue.
Two Republicans, Cheri Gerou of
Evergreen and Carole Murray of Castle Rock, spoke in favor of the
Post defends running photo of gay lawmaker kissing partner.)