Republicans Kills Civil Unions in Colorado
A last-ditch effort by Colorado’s governor to give gay couples in the state rights similar to married couples failed Monday after Republicans rejected the proposal during a special legislative session.
An overflow crowd listens as House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, sponsor of the Civil Unions bill, testifies before the House State Affairs Committee at the state Capitol in Denver on Monday.
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper had said the special session was needed to address a “fundamental question of fairness and civil rights.”
The bill’s demise was expected by Democrats, who have begun using the issue as a rallying cry to topple Republicans in the November elections. Republicans assigned the bill to House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, which was likely to reject it. The panel voted 5-4 along party lines to kill the measure.
“The gay community is being used as a political pawn,” said Republican Rep. Don Coram, whose son is gay. Coram voted against the measure.
Rep. Mark Ferrandino, the Democrats’ leader in the House and gay lawmaker co-sponsoring civil unions, sounded a note of optimism before the committee hearing, even as he braced for the bill’s rejection.