Opponents of a proposed civil unions bill in Colorado that died in committee Thursday warned members that its approval would increase the “AIDS tax” and lead to the destruction of civilization.

Voting along party lines, the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee voted against sending the measure previously approved by the Senate to a second House committee.

Given that Colorado is home to several leading Christian conservative groups, it wasn't much of a surprise that the anti-gay rhetoric of opponents was at full tilt during the committee's 6-hour session.

Igor Volsky at the ThinkProgress.org blog Wonk Room first reported on the arguments of opponents.

“Douglas Napier of the Alliance Defense Fund led the formal opposition against the bill and maintained that civil unions would likely lead to same-sex marriage, despite a 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman,” Volsky wrote.

Napier told the committee that the legislation would create a loophole for heterosexual couples wishing to escape the responsibilities of marriage, including child rearing.

Democratic Rep. Daniel Kagan challenged Napier's claims, noting that under current law the children of gay and lesbian couples do not have legal protections.

“I just have tremendous trouble understanding why no protection for children is preferable to you than the protections of children that would be afforded by this bill,” Kagan said.

“I just don't think this bill should promote a look-alike relationship that undermines the optimum [of marriage] and detracts from that ideal environment,” Napier responded.

Dr. Paul Cameron, the chairman of the Family Research Institute, a group that believes gay people can and should alter their sexuality, said he objected to the bill because it would raise the state's “AIDS tax.”

“Every Coloradoan now has basically an $112 AIDS tax from gays in the United States,” Cameron told lawmakers.

Cameron described being gay as a “habit which is so captivating, and so destructive, and so anti-social.”

“Now we live in a world in which 300,000 U.S. gays have died because of their habit connected with HIV. We're paying this tax because of their HIV.”

“A sensible society always asks people to direct their sexuality in such a way that it doesn't harm but in fact helps procreate society. If you vote otherwise, you are going to help end – not tomorrow, the sun will come up – you will help to end this most successful civilization.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

During a Senate hearing on the bill last month, a grandmother said she opposed the bill because the anus is weak.