Colorado Passes Civil Union Bill

The Colorado legislature took a step forward today as the House passed Senate Bill 11, providing equal benefits to partners in civil unions. The bill is now on its way to Gov. Hickenlooper, who has said he will sign it. The law will take effect May 1.

The bill does not have an exemption for businesses and individuals with moral or religious objections.

The text of the bill is accessible here.

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    Bravo! (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:45:36 PM EST

    i have (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:51:09 PM EST
    to compliment you. I know you are a Republican but I must say you are a credit to your party. They need more people like you.

    Even this Social Liberal (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:40:23 PM EST
    supports gay marriage.

    Thanks. (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:00:06 PM EST
    I've seen the same, generational-wise. (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:50:18 PM EST
    I think (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:52:28 PM EST
    is even more than a generational thing so much as the GOP being a regional party with being mostly a southern party. Even among the young people here in the south, you don't have the support of gay marriage that you have in other parts of the country with the same age group.

    An interesting observation. (none / 0) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 05:22:14 PM EST
    If the younger age group in, say the 6th District of GA, seems more unsupportive of same sex marriage than not, I wonder where that age cohort is on the general gay equality evolutionary scale.   I am hopeful that Representatives like  Tom Price have not contaminated the younger crowd, or the preachers that abound.

    It would (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:51:31 PM EST
    be something that would be interesting to look at some numbers. I do know that "banning" gay marriage passed something like 80% for here in GA back in 2004. I also do know some people that have really come around on that issue since then and they are close to my age in their mid to late 40's. Of course, I also attend church with at least one gay couple and most of the age groups are very supportive. That being said i'm sure we are not the majority in Georgia by any means.

    For whatever reason the south is always the last to "adapt" to any changes that happen. Why that is i'm not sure.


    Not sure about half a million (none / 0) (#23)
    by Yman on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:44:28 PM EST
    ... since you include no link, but undoubtedly there were some Democrats who voted against gay marriage - probably even more common in the South, where Democrats are more conservative than the nation as a whole.

    Did someone say that only Republicans opposed gay marriage?


    I never (none / 0) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:41:25 PM EST
    said they didn't. What I did say was that the south was behind the rest of the country on this issue and that young people here in GA are not as supportive as people in other parts of the country.

    There are not a whole lot of Democrats in Georgia. The majority are Republicans and the GOP is basically a southern party.


    Not "rare", but definately a minority (none / 0) (#14)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:09:57 PM EST
    Republicans oppose gay marriage overwhelmingly (69-23).  Democrats favor gay marriage (65-29).  There's been a slow improvement in recent years, but check all the polls - Republicans have consistently opposed it.

    Interesting timing, given that (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 01:50:00 PM EST
    the Solicitor General of the U.S. has taken the position, in its brief filed just a week or so ago in the Supreme Court Prop 8 case, that when a state extends to unmarried same-sex couples all the same substantive rights as apply to married hetero couples, the denial to the same-sex couples of the right to marry is rendered irrational and purely discriminatory, and thus unconstitutional. In other words, the passage of legislation such as this, if intended to "head off" recognition of marriage equality, may ironically have the opposite effect.

    "Civil Unions" are not marriages (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 05:30:31 PM EST
    They are separate and unequal. They are designed to be second-class, and less respected. The status of "civil union" need not be accorded all the many and varied legal rights of marriage. You can see the enactment of such a law as a step forward, or as "too little, too late" - a desperate and inevitably unsuccessful effort to buy off and stem the tide of true equality.

    Yes, and inequality and second class (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 06:21:48 PM EST
    continues, at the present time, in cases of same sex marriage.  In a legal sense, marriage is a civil contract created by the state which establishes certain duties and confers certain benefits.

    DOMA prohibits federal recognition of same sex marriages and allows individual states to refuse to recognize such marriages performed in other states.   An illustration being the denial of benefits to couples residing in a state where they were legally married.  Another issue is the interstate recognition of same sex marriages.

    DOMA denies full faith and credit to another's state laws and judgments.  Under the full faith clause marriages recognized in other states should be facilitated even if they could not have been celebrated in the recognizing state.  It will probably take more than the end of DOMA for recognition of same sex marriages contracted in other states in which they were authorized, owing to public policies, but finding DOMA unconstitutional by the Supreme Court is an obligatory step on the way to equality.


    Or you can see it... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 09:08:16 AM EST
    as the result of years of hard work by many, many dedicated people.  From winning back the State House to finally getting the bill passed after three years of trying, it is the culmination of an effort worthy of celebration for us.

    Certainly not the end of the effort though.  There will be court challenges to come and the Colorado constitution will need to be amended to overturn the ban on gay marriage. Still, it is a step in the right direction for a State that used to be known as the "Hate State".


    Didn't know you had a state constitutional (none / 0) (#26)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 04:55:10 PM EST
    ban.  That changes my perspective.  Congratulations!  And if the Supremes adopt the U.S. gov't position on the Prop 8 case, you may have turned civil unions into marriage equality by default.

    Why the Exemption ? (none / 0) (#6)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:38:50 PM EST
    That is dumb, it allows employers to treat employees differently, especially when you add in the costs of health care.  What about kids of a gay marriage, can they decide mommy isn't the biological mom and deny coverage ?  

    Seems to me if an employer has any real objections or moral issue they should exercise them at hiring time, which ill soon enough be illegal.  But they will still be allowed to save cash by not giving certain employees the benefits everyone else is entitled to.

    Seems like that is a no brainer and legislature should not be allowing these kinds of exemptions.

    Please re-read (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:52:11 PM EST
    There is "no" exemption

    I believe that general laws should (none / 0) (#16)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:35:27 PM EST
    have "conscientious objector" exemptions for individuals who for religious or equivalent deeply held moral reasons cannot do what the law commands, or cannot refrain from doing what the law forbids -- unless recognizing that exemption does significant harm to others or unless the government simply cannot accommodate an exception.  Not for businesses, however, just for individuals and for non-business associations organized to foster those very beliefs (such as churches).  I'm having trouble imagining in what circumstances an individual would have a claim to a CO exemption from a civil union law.  What does such a law command anyone else to do, or refrain from doing, that his/her religion would otherwise prohibit or require?

    Thanks Coral (none / 0) (#21)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:07:25 AM EST
    Misread that.

    Stand up for what's right (none / 0) (#19)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:06:42 PM EST
    NOM (National Organization for exclusive Marriage) is organizing a big march in front of the Supreme Court the first day they hear arguments, March 26. They're playing this decision against the Roe v. Wade decision that "found" the right to an abortion and totally changed, well, everything, making it harder for churches to do their work, etc. etc.

    This is a big decision, and it's likely to affect more than just gay and lesbians. The Democratic Party stands to gain enormously if the right wing loses this fundraising/GOTV motivator.

    Given the potential for public good, and for our Party in general, shouldn't our side be prepared to overwhelm their protest with a huge public presence of our own? At least two justices might find it easier to do what's right if they know the public is solidly behind them.