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Colorado Civil Union Ceremonies Begin After Midnight

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Gov. John Hickenlooper gives Colorado  House Speaker Mark Ferrandino a high five after signing the civil unions bill into law in March. (credit: CBS)

Gov. John Hickenlooper gives Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino a high five after signing the civil unions bill into law in March. (credit: CBS)

DENVER (AP) – Midnight ceremonies are planned in Denver and Boulder after civil unions in Colorado become legal.

The new law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

Denver will issue licenses immediately and civil union ceremonies will be performed by officials including Mayor Michael Hancock and U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette. The Boulder clerk will also issue licenses starting after midnight.

State lawmakers this year passed a bill granting unmarried couples, both gay and heterosexual, the ability to form civil unions and get rights similar to those of married couples. They include transferring property, making medical decisions, adopting children and qualifying for health insurance and survivor benefits.

Colorado is the eighth state to have civil unions or similar laws. Nine states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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