Lambda Legal Applauds As Colorado Passes Civil Union Bill
Today, the Colorado House of Representatives passed the Colorado Civil Union Act, granting same-sex couples access to the range of rights, protections and obligations enjoyed by married couples under Colorado law. The bill was approved earlier this month by the State Senate, and Gov. John Hickenlooper has stated he will sign the measure when it comes to his desk. It will go into effect on May 1, 2013.
"Another state has taken an important step forward in recognizing and protecting same-sex couples and their families," said Jennifer Pizer, Lambda Legal's Law and Policy Project Director. "We congratulate the bill's sponsors - State Sen. Pat Steadman and Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino - as well as One Colorado and the many other advocates and elected officials who fought so hard to secure this legal recognition. We have received a great many calls over the years at Lambda Legal from LGBT Coloradans seeking help and advice on how they can protect their families. This bill goes a long way towards making that protection a reality.
"With the expected signature of Gov. Hickenlooper, nine states - including Rhode Island and Illinois - allow same-sex couples to obtain all or nearly all of the state-law rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage by entering a civil union or domestic partnership. In addition, there now are nine states plus the District of Columbia where same-sex couples are free to marry, and marriage bills supported by their respective governors are moving through the legislatures of Illinois and Rhode Island. That's 18 states in this country plus the nation's capital where same-sex couples are visible, have meaningful protection under the law, and can live their lives with greater security. Even in very conservative states like Texas and Wyoming, more and more legislators have decided it is time to push for change because - for all committed couples - the law should help, not hinder, those trying to support and protect their loved ones.
"Of course civil unions and domestic partnerships, no matter how complete the package of protections, are not marriage. True equality is the freedom to marry the one you love and be included under the same laws as your neighbors. It is time to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage, and Lambda Legal and many others will continue to fight for that goal."
Congrats to Brad Clark and his team at One Colorado!