Colorado legislature approves civil union law, awaits governor’s signature

Today, the Colorado House of Representatives approved a law that will extend civil union to same-sex couples in the state, marking a huge step toward the freedom to marry in the state.

The law passed today by a vote of 39-26, with two Republican representatives joining all of the House Democrats in favor of the law.

Earlier this year, the civil union law cleared the CO Senate. Now, it only awaits Gov. John Hickenlooper's signature, who has been a vocal advocate for the law. Once Gov. Hickenlooper signs, the law will take effect on May 1, 2013.

Last year, the Colorado House of Represenatives failed to bring the civil union bill to a vote, although it had significant momentum and was expected to pass. Republican leadership in the House essentially filibustered the Civil Union Act, running out the clock so that there was not enough time to take a final vote on the legislation. This year, advocates at One Colorado, the statewide organization committed to advancing the needs of LGBT people in Colorado, worked hard to ensure that the legislature passed the bill. 

Civil union provides a measure of protections to same-sex couples and their families, but it is not a substitute for the full measure of respect, clarity, security, and responsibility of marriage itself. Civil union excludes people from marriage and creates an unfair system that falls short of providing the same protections as marriage. Despite their inequality, civil union legislation shows progress and provides same-sex couples and their families with important responsibilitie and protections that they previously did not have.

As we celebrate the passage of the civil union law in Colorado, we also look forward to a day when same-sex couples can see their state stand up for their love, their commitment, and their families by extending the full freedom to marry.