“As mentioned earlier, there are quite a few mountains we ought to climb together before this session ends in May,” said the Governor. “Some of us tried very hard, but it didn’t get done last year. This year, let’s do it. Let’s pass civil unions.”
Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has supported the Colorado Civil Union Act since it was first introduced in the legislature in 2011. The Republican controlled House opposed the measure even though it had gained bipartisan support in the Senate. In 2012, the bill was again cleared by the Senate with bipartisan support. It also cleared three House GOP committees. The bill died after the clock ran out on the legislative session. According to Out Colorado, then-Speaker of the House Frank McNulty, (R) called it an impasse and said his chamber’s body didn’t have enough time to consider the bill. The bill was introduced on the first day of the regular session but was held in the Senate while sponsors state Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Mark Ferrandino, both Denver Democrats, shopped for a GOP House sponsor. Less than 24 hours later, Hickenlooper told lawmakers he would call a special session to give Republicans the time they needed to consider the bill. McNulty sent the bill to the House State Affairs committee where it was killed on a party line vote.
The civil union bill was reintroduced this year and with a legislature controlled by Democrats, seems destined to pass.
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copyright 2013 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.