BREAKING: Colorado Senate Approves Civil Unions Legislation

Civil unions sponsor Sen. Pat Steadman (D) speaking before supporters in May 2012.

Just now, the Colorado Senate voted 21-14 to approve Senate Bill 11, which would create civil unions for same-sex couples. This was the second of two readings, with a final vote expected on Monday. During the debate, several Republicans attempted to add various amendments that would create special religious protections for adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples, but none of them passed. Denver area political reporter Eli Stokols pointed out that last year’s civil unions bill had such protections, but House Republicans went out of their way to block that bill from passing.

The bill is expected to advance quickly through the House this year. Not only did Democrats win control over the House, but they also elected openly gay Representative Mark Ferrandino (D), the bill’s sponsor, as Speaker of the House. A November poll found that 70 percent of Coloradans support legal recognition for same-sex couples.

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