Final civil unions push comes near end of Legislature

DENVER — Supporters of a bill to create civil unions will hold another rally in front of the Capitol today in an effort to get the Colorado House to vote on the measure.

That measure, which would provide same-sex couples many of the same rights as married heterosexual couples, is to come up before the House Appropriations Committee today and, if approved, for debate by the full House.

All this on the second-to-last day of the 2012 session.

The rally, sponsored by the Denver-based gay and lesbian group One Colorado, is designed to encourage lawmakers to bring Senate Bill 2 to a floor vote.

“Civil unions is supported by an overwhelming majority of Coloradans. It has been given bipartisan approval by the Senate. It has been passed by two House committees,” said Brad Clark, One Colorado executive director. “Now it is time to debate the legislation on the floor. Civil unions should be given a full up-or-down vote in the House.”

Supporters of the bill said they fear Republican leaders in the 65-member House, who oppose the measure, won’t allow it to be debated by the full body, which the GOP controls by one vote. Numerous Republicans have already said they would support the bill, meaning it has the votes to pass if it is brought up for debate.

If the measure is approved, it still will need a final House vote on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Legislature was busy working on numerous other measures Monday. With the end of the session looming on Wednesday, lawmakers have little time to get other measures through the process.

Among the measures that were acted on Monday include a bill to make it clear when election ballots are open to public disclosure, and a measure to bring more oversight to governor-appointed public trustees.

Additionally, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the $19 billion spending plan for the 2012–13 fiscal year, which begins July 1, saying it provides additional funding for seniors, schools and cancer research.


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