DENVER (CBS4/AP) – A bill that would allow same-sex civil unions took a step forward at the state Capitol Wednesday, but it still faces an uphill battle.

The measure had already cleared a committee and went up for debate by the full chamber Wednesday.

The bill would allow couples to enter into a civil union so they could have several rights similar to married couples. Gay marriage is not possible here without changing the state Constitution; voters in 2006 changed the Colorado Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

“This would change the very concept of what marriage is, and what the family unit is all about and what role that plays in the state of Colorado in the 21st century,” said Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Pat Steadman, a Democrat from Denver who is gay.

“This is about what happens in the hospital or emergency room, or in a nursing home or admitting someone to hospice care. These are persons and often emotional issues where having a legally recognized relationship matters,” Steadman said.

The Senate will vote on the Civil Union Act on Thursday.

Supporters say the bill faces an uphill battle in the Republican House.

Senate Bill 172

space Lawmakers Debate Civil Unions In State Senate

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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