A bill that would give gay and lesbian
couples many of the benefits and responsibilities of marriage has
cleared a third and final committee in the Colorado Senate.
Lawmakers in the Senate Appropriations
Committee approved the civil unions measure with a 6-4 party-line vote.
The bill now heads to the
Democrat-controlled Senate, where all 20 Democratic members have
co-sponsored the proposed legislation.
Openly gay state Senator Pat Steadman
introduced his gay-inclusive civil unions bill on Valentine's Day.
Democratic Representative Mark
Ferrandino is expected to carry the measure in the House.
Ferrandino has claimed there is
Republican support for the measure in the GOP-controlled House. But
whether the measure reaches the House floor remains to be seen.
Supporters worry that House Speaker Frank McNulty, a Highlands Ranch
Republican, will assign the bill to a hostile committee, thereby
Opposition to the measure has come
mostly from the Roman Catholic Church.
a letter to Colorado Catholics, Rev. Charles J. Chaput, the
Archbishop of Denver, said the bill “undermines the privileged
place of marriage and the family.”
“Marriage and the family are
cornerstones of any culture – Christian or not. They ensure the
future through the creation of new human life. Any diminishment of
the identity of marriage and the family undermines society itself.”
At a Senate committee hearing, Rosina
Kovar, a grandmother and an “at-large-director” for the
Missouri-based Eagle Forum, Phyllis Schlafly's socially conservative
lawmakers that she opposed the proposal because the anus is weak.
David Digiacomo testified that such
legislation would have it made it more difficult for him to escape
his abusive relationships with men.
“The few times I was in a domestic
relationship, they became abusive,” Digiacomo told lawmakers. “If
I had been in a civil union it would have taken a lawyer and plenty
of money to get out of one of those relationships.” (The video is
embedded in the right panel of this page.)
Colorado would become the fourth state
to offer the union behind New Jersey, Illinois and Hawaii, if
lawmakers approve the bill.