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Colorado Lawmakers Plan To Debate Civil Unions

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Colorado State Capitol (credit: CBS)

Colorado State Capitol (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4)- Lawmakers in Colorado will most likely take up the issue of civil unions in this year’s legislative session.

Some believe recent actions of some states, including a court ruling California’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and Washington becoming the seventh state to allow gay marriage, will spur the debate in Colorado.

“I can only hope that it adds to the momentum that the momentum can come to Colorado,” said civil union supporter Courtney Law.

“It’s difficult to imagine bringing a child into our family without having legal recognition for our relationship,” said civil union supporter Sonja Semion.

There’s a bill in the state Senate that would allow for civil unions in Colorado.

A spokesman with One Colorado, a gay rights organization, believes California’s ruling will help their cause.

“Increasingly all across the country we’re seeing more and more supports for equal protection for gay and lesbian couples,” said One Colorado spokesman Brad Clark.

Not everyone believes the issue is pressing at the state Capitol. Rep. BJ Nikkels, the Majority Whip, is taking a wait and see approach.

“I don’t think it comes as a shock to anyone that the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court ruled as they did,” said Nikkels. “When it comes to the house we’ll definitely give it a fair hearing and see what proponents have to say and go from there.”

“I think that it is only a matter of time before relationships like ours are recognized,” said Semion.

Colorado law defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The bill being proposed in the Senate wouldn’t change that but it would afford gay couples similar rights as married couples.

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