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The Dramatic Death of Colorado's Civil Unions Bill


A bill that would have allowed civil unions in Colorado failed in the Republican controlled house late Tuesday night despite having enough GOP votes to pass. It happened after a dramatic fallout on the chamber floor, when Republicans recessed the House for several hours as Democrats were trying to call up the bill.

Chants of "shame on you" thundered through the Colorado House chamber from supporters of civil unions in the gallery after Speaker Frank McNulty announced the legislation to allow civil unions in the state wouldn't get a vote Tuesday night, essentially killing the measure.

Here's a play-by-play of Tuesday night's legislative discussion.

McNulty said lawmakers had reached an impasse and the civil unions proposal and 25 other bills would die.

Despite Republicans having control of the House chamber, enough of their party was in support of the civil unions bill in order to pass it. But, House leaders were against the measure.

The bill needed to pass an initial full House vote by midnight Tuesday in order for a final vote to be taken Wednesday, the last day of the legislative session.

These decisions will be the last many lawmakers make before facing voters this fall.

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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