Gay rights activists in Colorado are
urging lawmakers to approve a bill that would give gay and lesbian
couples many of the benefits and responsibilities of marriage.
About 100 people are expected to join
gay rights group One
Colorado at the Statehouse on Monday to lobby lawmakers to
approve Senator Pat Steadman's civil unions bill.
Steadman, an openly gay Democrat, said
he's proposing the law because a 2006 voter-approved constitutional
amendment bans gay marriage in the state.
“This is a method of recognizing
committed relationships between two people and allowing them to
access the full scope of protections in Colorado law,” Steadman
told the Denver Post.
Democratic Representative Mark
Ferrandino is sponsoring the legislation in the House.
Passage in the Democrat-controlled
Senate appears nearly guaranteed, but less likely is a win in the
House, which is controlled by Republicans.
A recent survey by Public Policy
Polling (PPP) found that more than 70 percent of Coloradans support
giving gay and lesbian couples legal rights such as those found in
“There's been a sea change in public
attitude over the last several years,” One Colorado Executive
Director Brad Clark told Public News Service. “This shouldn't be a
Democratic or Republican issue. Issues involving basic fundamental
legal protection should be something we should all agree on.”
If approved, Colorado would join New
Jersey, Illinois and Hawaii in offering the union. Hawaii
Governor Neil Abercrombie will sign a similar measure into law on
in Delaware are also expected to debate the issue.