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