US: Colorado House gives final approval to civil unions bill

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

In its third reading, the Colorado House of Representatives has approved legislation to introduce civil unions for same-sex couples.

The SB-11, Colorado Civil Union Act, passed 39 votes to 26, on Monday with all Democratic House members voting for it, as well as two Republicans.

Yesterday, during the debate, Republicans attempted to push forward amendments that would have allowed child adoption agencies and religious people the right to deny services to same-sex couples.

The bill passed what was the Senate’s final vote on the SB-11, Colorado Civil Union Act, 21 votes to 14 on the 11th of February.

The bill was co-sponsored by Democratic House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, the first openly gay lawmaker to hold the title in the state.

“While I have the honor of being the Speaker of the House, my family doesn’t have equality under the law,” he said.

The House speaker said the bill was about love, and families. He said: “This wasn’t a choice. This is who I am,” Ferrandino said, of being gay.

The House will now send the legislation to the Governor’s desk to be signed off. Democratic Governor, John Hickenlooper, has also said that he plans to sign civil unions into law

The bill would allow gay and lesbian couples similar rights to marriage, which includes inheritance and parental rights, as well as the ability to make medical decisions on behalf of their partners.

Democrats in the state have attempted to pass legislation to introduce civil unions for years.