Colorado State Senator Jean White was among the three GOP members that voted on Thursday in favor of a bill that would recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions.

The Republican delivered a stirring speech on the Senate floor that left some senators in tears.

White said she was moved by Senator Linda Newell's remarks the day before.

Newell told lawmakers that her brother Bill “lived in the shadows” and didn't come out gay until after his 50th birthday.

“It occurred to me that if I did not come to the mic in support of this bill today that I would be voting quietly for it, but not having the courage to stand up for what is right, not having the courage for me to step out of the shadows and tell my story,” said White.

White said her two brothers each have a child who is gay and she's loved them “from the moment they were born.”

“My vote today is for love and respect and commitment,” she added. “My vote today is for my niece and my nephew.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

Democratic Representative Mark Ferrandion, who'll carry the bill in the House, said White's speech moved him to tears.