Same-Sex Unions Gain Support in Colorado House
Supporters of a bill that would allow civil unions for same-sex couples in Colorado were hopeful on Monday that the legislation, buoyed by the support of key Republican lawmakers who broke party ranks, would pass before the legislative session ended this week.
The bill, which has already cleared the State Senate, passed a pair of House committees last week capping a whirlwind few days where its fate was uncertain.
The bill was poised to pass a final committee before facing a full vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a 33-to-32 majority. Supporters say they have the votes to send the legislation to Gov. John W. Hickenlooper, who has said he would sign it.
But it was still uncertain whether the bill would reach the final committee in time, or if the Republican leadership would bring the bill to the House floor — effectively killing it.
“If you asked me at the beginning of the session whether I thought we’d be this far, I’d probably say no,” said Representative Mark Ferrandino, a Denver Democrat and sponsor of the bill; he is also one of four openly gay state legislators here. “I’m really excited about where we are. We’re not at the end yet, but we’re much closer than we’ve ever been.”
House Speaker Frank McNulty, a Republican from Highlands Ranch, said it was still unclear whether the legislation would make it to the House floor before the session ends on Wednesday.
And he blamed some Democrats for delaying action on the bill until the session’s final days to “force a showdown,” he said, adding that each side had been lobbying its position furiously of late.
Mr. McNulty and others oppose the bill largely because they believe it will ultimately pave the way for same-sex marriage in Colorado.