Same-sex civil unions defeated in Colorado legislature

DENVER Fri Apr 1, 2011 3:25pm EDT

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DENVER (Reuters) - Supporters of same-sex civil unions in Colorado on Friday vowed to keep fighting after a bill that would grant certain legal rights to gays and lesbians was defeated by a Republican-controlled committee in the state legislature.

"We are going to rally our community together," Jessica Cook Woodrum, spokeswoman for the gay and lesbian advocacy group One Colorado told Reuters. "We are not going to turn our backs on fair-minded Coloradans."

The bill would have allowed gays and lesbians to make medical decisions for their partners and become eligible for insurance and retirement benefits.

Cook Woodrum said "all options are on the table," including re-introducing a similar bill next year, or possibly putting a ballot measure on the issue before voters for a second time.

In 2006, Colorado voters defeated a same-sex marriage ballot initiative.

The House Judiciary Committee killed the measure on a 6-5 party line vote on Thursday, with all five Democrats on the committee voting in favor of the proposal, but all six Republican members voting it down.

The committee heard seven hours of emotional testimony from the bill' s supporters and opponents before casting their votes late Thursday night.

The bill's House sponsor, Democrat Rep. Mark Ferradino, said after the vote that he was "astounded" that the Republicans voted against the bill after listening to gay and lesbian couples who said they merely sought the same rights as married couples.

"I am truly disappointed and disheartened that this bill turned into a partisan issue and died along party lines," he said. "But this is not the end."

But opponents testified that Colorado voters have already spoken on the issue with the 2006 vote. Many religious leaders spoke out against the bill.

Denver's Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput said in a recent column in the archdiocesan newspaper that a civil union law was unnecessary because Colorado law already protects "a variety of non-marital domestic arrangements."

"Attempts to redefine marriage, whether direct or indirect, only serve to weaken the already difficult family structure of our society," he wrote.

The Democratic-controlled Senate passed the measure on March 24 by a 23-12 vote, with unanimous support from Democrats. Three Republican senators voted for the bill.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said he would have signed the bill had it gotten through the General Assembly.

Gay marriage is legal in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa and the District of Columbia. Most recently, Hawaii approved same-sex civil unions, granting essentially the same rights as marriage to gay couples.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Greg McCune)

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Comments (3)
feetxxxl wrote:
it is the purpose of schools, to teach our children to be good citizens, to support the equal protection of homosexuals that is equal to that of heterosexuals. homosexuality has been deemed legal and is deserving of those same protections. how can children become adults that support that equal protection if they are not shown the goodness in the lives of those being gay. how can denial of the same privileges as heterosuals support the doctrine of equal protection?

ones own personnal rights end where they infringe on the equal protection of another. because there are those who hold beliefs that being gay is immoral, does not trump the rule of law. their beliefs are all about them. and to in any way, create public policy supporting a religious belief system comes against the seperation of church and state(congress will make no laws…..)

just what facts were not presented to the supreme court that would have influenced them to rule otherwise.

those being gay have never been found to be lacking in any sector of society compared to heterosexuals. they are not less a father, friend, lawyer, counselor, teacher, engineer, brother , neighbor, etc.

and in regard to civil unions there is no such thing as seperate but equal.

Apr 02, 2011 11:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SteveMD2 wrote:
The catholic church. Not being satisfied with how their hatred of Jews over the millenia was used by hitler to leverage his way to power, and 55 million died…..

Now has a new victim.

Hitler btw was born and baptised catholic in very catholic Austria. He in his book Mein Kampf details how he came to hate the Jews.

And hitler has yet to be excommuncated.

The good catholic people, supporting Jesus commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself, should cut off all contributions to the church, run by a man whose ealiest lessons were in the 1930s growing up in Nazi germany.

Apr 03, 2011 1:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SteveMD2 wrote:
it will happen eventually. We all need to insure that we understand that some churches only contribbution to society is havingg someone to demonize.

And they dare call themselves christians. No wonder our children laugh as they walk by the churches. Who can blame the kids, who understand so well that gays are good people.

Apr 03, 2011 1:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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