DENVER (CBS4/AP) — Supporters of civil unions for gay couples rallied across a park from the Colorado Capitol to urge lawmakers to pass legislation out of a key House committee.

The debate of whether same-sex couples should have rights similar to marriage will face defining moment in ta Republican-led committee Thursday. The vote is expected to happen in the evening or early Friday because the committee is hearing other legislation, too.

“So unless there’s games being played, I think we get it out of committee tonight, I think there is the opportunity for us to get it through the rest of the process before we end on next day,” said Rep. Mark Ferrandino, a Democrat representing Denver.

Those rallying in support before the hearing held multi-colored signs that read “Love is love” and “Equality for All.”

Republicans have argued that civil unions undermine marriage.

More than a dozen states allow either gay marriage or civil unions.

Senators approved the bill for the second consecutive year, but it’s now in the hands of the same committee that rejected it last year.

Ivan Moreno, AP Writer, contributed to this report (TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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