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Civil Unions Back On The Agenda As Colorado Legislature Convenes

Kirk Siegler

One of the first bills likely to be brought up by state lawmakers during this year’s legislative session is one to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples.

similar measure failed last year when House Republicans shut down voting rather than bring it to the floor. The state constitution bans gay marriage, but civil unions are another matter, says Mindy Barton with the GLBT Community Center of Colorado.

"We're looking at the fact that two people in a committed relationship, gay or straight, should be able to take care of and be responsible for each other," she told Colorado News Connection.

Credit Mark Ferrandino

Barton thinks it’s unlikely the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage will be changed any time soon – but she says Colorado has made great strides since being dubbed the "hate state" in the 1990s.

Following the November election Mark Ferrandino was named Speaker of the House – the first openly gay man to hold that title. The Denver Democrat was a co-sponsor of the civil unions bill defeated last year, and vowed to bring it back this January.

The 120-day legislative session starts Wednesday morning.

As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.
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