Gay and lesbian couples lined up in
Boulder and Denver to become the first to tie the knot as Colorado's
civil unions law took effect on Wednesday.
In both cities, officials opened clerk
offices at 12:01AM to issue civil union licenses.
Alicia Smith and her partner of 15
years were the first couple in line at 2PM Tuesday outside the Denver
Office of the Clerk and Recorder at the Webb Municipal Building.
However, Joey Bunch, a reporter for the Denver Post, tweeted
that the first license went to Fran and Anna Simon, who testified in
favor of the law. The couple, outfitted in white dresses, clutched
their license as the clerk herself snapped a photo.
Several elected officials, including
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, were
expected to preside over some of the state's first ceremonies.
Anthony Aragon, who was making his
16-year relationship with David Westman official, predicted “tears
of joy and tears of true love.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Brad Clark,
executive director of One Colorado, the state's largest gay rights
advocate, told local NPR affiliate KUNC about other celebrations
taking place around the state.
“In Colorado Springs we'll be hosting
actual civil union ceremonies that evening at city hall. And then in
Grand Junction we'll be hosting a community reception at the Center
for Independence,” he said.
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, last week approved
a marriage bill, and Illinois and Delaware are considering