Colorado lawmakers consider civil union bill

[JURIST] The Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] heard testimony [senate calendar, PDF] on Wednesday in consideration of a proposed bill [SB12-002 text, PDF] that would grant same-sex couples the right to civil unions. Same-sex couples traveled to Denver to testify [AP report] on behalf of the bill. The bill explicitly provides same-sex couples with many of the benefits held by married couples, including dependent insurance coverage and the ability to adopt a partner's child. It goes on to provide that "all legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities of spouses ... apply in like manner to parties in a civil union." A similar bill passed in the Colorado Senate last year [JURIST report], but was ultimately defeated in the House [Reuters report]. The bill received no sponsorship from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and House Speaker Frank McNulty has voiced opposition. The Colorado constitution defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Issues surrounding same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] continue to occupy discussions among lawmakers and judges. On Tuesday the New Jersey Senate voted to approve a bill [JURIST report] that, if passed, would legalize same-sex marriage in the state. Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed legislation [JURIST report] Monday legalizing same-sex marriage, making Washington the eighth jurisdiction in the US to offer marriage to same-sex couples. Earlier this month, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional [JURIST report]. In January, an Iowa District Court ordered that the Iowa Department of Public Health include both names [JURIST report] of married same-sex parents on children's birth certificates.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.