Colorado State Senator Pat Steadman is
sponsoring a bill that would give gay couples many of the same
benefits and responsibilities of marriage.
Steadman, an openly gay Democrat, told
Independent that he's proposing the law because a
constitutional amendment bans gay marriage in the state.
“Promoting a lesser status for gay
people is not ideal,” he said, but added that in the short term
“people could really benefit from civil unions.”
Over the last couple of years,
Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont have scrapped their civil
unions laws in favor of full marriage, leaving only New Jersey, which
passed on the upgrade last year, to offer the union.
But civil unions have returned in a big
way this year.
On Monday, Illinois
Governor Pat Quinn signed a civil unions bill into law in front of a
capacity crowd. And last week, a
civil unions bill was approved by the Hawaii Senate.
Lawmakers in Wyoming and Maryland have
also promised to introduce similar legislation.
Steadman said he's likely to introduce
his bill over the summer. Representative Mark Ferrandino will
sponsor the measure in the House.
majority (52%) of Colorado residents favor legalizing gay marriage.