Colorado state Senator Pat Steadman has introduced his promised civil union bill, One Colorado tells us:
Today, Senator Pat Steadman introduced the Colorado Civil Unions Act. The bill allows committed gay and lesbian couples to enter into a civil union, a form of state-level relationship recognition that provides critical legal protections.
“Especially in these difficult economic times, gay and lesbian couples need the critical protections that civil unions offer to provide for their families,” said Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado. “Civil unions will ensure that thousands of gay and lesbian couples all across the state can protect the ones they love.”
The Colorado Civil Unions Act provides committed gay and lesbian couples with critical legal protections and responsibilities, such as the ability to insure a partner, to inherit property, to take family leave to care for a partner, to visit a partner in the hospital, and to make medical and end-of-life decisions for a partner.
“Civil unions will allow committed couples to share in the responsibilities and protections in Colorado law that most families take for granted. Our society is stronger when we promote personal responsibility and taking care of one another, and civil unions do just that,” said Senator Pat Steadman, sponsor of the bill.
A key provision of the civil unions bill includes a religious exclusion. The bill explicitly protects freedom of religion by not requiring priests, ministers, rabbis, or other religious officials to certify a civil union. Religious leaders who want to certify a civil union may do so.
Last week, the Colorado Independent reported on a new Public Policy Polling survey that showed strong support for civil unions.
One Colorado also reports that they'll be delivering more than 1,000 Valentine's messages to state lawmakers today asking them to support and protect all families.