DENVER (AP) – A bill granting civil unions for gay couples in Colorado has taken another step in the state Legislature as it nears a final debate on the House floor.

The bill cleared the Finance Committee on Wednesday on a 7-6 party-line vote with Republicans in opposition. The proposal is expected to clear another committee and be voted on by the full House next week, the last step before the governor’s desk.

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Democrats have the votes to pass the bill, and Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to sign it.

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The proposal would grant gay couples similar to marriage.

Republicans say the proposal violates the will of voters who banned same-sex marriage in 2006. Democrats say public opinion has changed since then, and that civil unions is not marriage equality.

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