Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is
expected to inaugurate Colorado's civil union law at the stroke of
midnight on May 1.
One Colorado, the state's leading gay
rights advocate, is organizing the event to take place in Denver's
The 2-hour event will be held in the
building's atrium, where Hancock will preside over some of the
state's first ceremonies.
Hancock said he is “honored to take
part in this historic event, uniting committed couples who were for
too long excluded from the same benefits and protections provided to
their fellow citizens. At midnight May 1, our great state will bring
down some of the senseless walls that have divided us and state in
one voice: 'Everyone matters.'”
Colorado lawmakers approved the law
earlier this year on the third try. A 2006 voter-approved
constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union
prevents lawmakers from considering extending full marriage to gay
and lesbian couples.
Civil unions are also legal in Hawaii,
Illinois, New Jersey, Delaware and Rhode Island. Rhode
Island lawmakers, however, on Wednesday approved a marriage law,
and Illinois and Delaware are considering doing the same.