Monday, March 25, 2013

Colorado Governor Signs Civil Union Bill

Last week, Colorado's Governor John Hickenlooper signed a civil union bill into law. The bill had been introduced for the past three years and had enough support to pass last session, but the former Republican Speaker of the House blocked the voted, despite substantial bipartisan support. Governor Hickenlooper even called a special legislative session to address the civil union bill, but the Republican leadership still managed to stop the bill. Doing so, they killed several others bills, including "an overhaul of school discipline policies and setting a blood-level marijuana limit for drivers," according to The Huffington Post.

But last November, Democrats gained control of both houses of Colorado's legislature. Four gay Democrats, including the new Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino, sponsored this year's bill. Seven Republican legislators voted for the legislation this year, last year, or both sessions.

Colorado has a mixed history of gay rights legislation. In 1992, voters passed a constitutional amendment which prohibited laws to protect gays from discrimination. It was struck down the by the Supreme Court in Romer v. Evans. In 2006, voters approved an amendment to define marriage as between a man and a women.

The upcoming Prop. 8 case may affect marriage equality in Colorado. If the Court rules that giving gay couples the same protections of marriage without calling it marriage violates equal protection, Colorado and the eight other states with civil unions may become marriage equality states.

No comments:

Post a Comment