Catholic adoption agencies in Colorado
have expressed disappointment over passage of a bill recognizing gay
and lesbian couples with civil unions.
The bill faced heavy opposition last
year in the Republican-controlled House, where leaders refused to
allow the bill to come up for a vote.
The drama of the past two years was in
sharp contrast to the ease with which the bill sailed through the
General Assembly this year now that Democrats have regained control.
And one of its largest opponents
appears to have suffered a setback.
Unlike last year's bill, the measure
approved this year omits exemptions to religious institutions wishing
to withhold adoptions based on sexual orientation.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese
of Denver expressed “disappointment” in the bill's passage, saying
that if signed into law, civil unions “may threaten the policies
which guide us in the vital work to find families for Colorado's
children in need.”
Democratic House Speaker Mark
Ferrandino, who is openly gay and a foster parent with his partner,
said such an exemption would be tantamount to discrimination.
Post defends running photo of gay lawmaker kissing partner.)
“There are hundreds of LGBT couples
who want to raise kids, and these kids who are in the foster system
have for some reason been taken away from their biological parents
for abuse or neglect,” he said. “What they need more than
anything is a family who loves them and wants to raise them. We
should not deny them the opportunity to have two loving parents, be
they two women, two men, or a man and a woman.”
Catholic Charities has previously
threatened to end adoption services in Colorado if the measure did
not include exemptions that would allow religiously-affiliated
adoption agencies to exclude gay couples. However, the organization
on Tuesday said it would wait for the bill to be signed into law
before announcing a decision on the matter.