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Civil Unions Headed To Colorado Sooner Rather Than Later

ColoradoSignWith many anti-gay Republicans routed out of Colorado's state government, LGBT activists and Democratic officials are confident they can finally pass civil unions there.

And according to the Denver Post, they're going to start almost immediately after the new session commences.

After two years of fighting over the issue, the Republicans who controlled the House and killed the measure are out of power, paving the way for a civil unions bill to head to Gov. John Hickenlooper, who supports legal recognition for same-sex couples.

But the victory will be bittersweet for Sen. Pat Steadman, the gay lawmaker who has led the fight for civil unions.

The Denver Democrat said he believes allowing gays to marry, rather than just form civil unions, would truly represent equality, but marriage is banned under Colorado's constitution.

And he won't be able to share the moment with his partner of 12 years, Dave Misner, who died in September after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

"It's going to be very sad for me, and sort of anticlimactic," Steadman said.

Asked why he's not pushing for marriage equality, Steadman again pointed out that voters amended the constitution to prohibit same-sex nuptials and even though he doesn't like it, he has to abide by the rules.

"As a state senator, I cannot propose marriage equality because our constitution forbids it, and I took an oath to uphold our constitution," Steadman told the paper. "But my oath also requires me to uphold the federal constitution and its promise of equal protection of the law. These obligations are in conflict and I cannot remain satisfied with the status quo."

[Image via Ivan Cockrum.]

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  1. It's easy to amend the Colorado Constitution; just a majority vote. There will be a day very soon when this will happen for same sex marriage. When DOMA is overturned, it may be a moot point anyway as Coloradans flock to other states and bring back their marriange certificates. Let's take the easy win now and keep working for full equality.

    Posted by: SMD | Nov 29, 2012 11:37:15 AM

  2. @SMD: It's highly unlikely the part of DOMA dealing with states recognition will be overturned anytime soon. In fact, that part of the law was considered redundant to existing statutes.

    Posted by: Bruno | Nov 29, 2012 12:32:11 PM

  3. I predict in 2016 Colorado will overturn their amendment and legalize same sex marriage.

    Posted by: Stefan | Nov 29, 2012 1:41:54 PM

  4. That is a good point Bruno and I am not an legal expert. But if we can get state-level rights through civil unions and federal rights through a marriage in another state, I imagine we would be well on our way to equality.

    Posted by: SMD | Nov 29, 2012 2:04:03 PM

  5. colo is fast becoming the most liberal "flyover" state.

    Posted by: gomez | Nov 29, 2012 5:00:53 PM

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