Colo civil unions bill gets OK by another panel
DENVER (AP) — A bill to allow civil unions for gay couples in Colorado must survive two more votes in the Republican-led House before it gets to the governor's desk, but it appears closer than in any other year to becoming law.
If the legislation passes, Colorado would join more than a dozen states that allow gay marriage or civil unions. Hawaii and Delaware began allowing civil unions earlier this year.
The measure does not allow gay marriage but does grant gay couples rights similar to marriage, including enhanced inheritance and parental rights, and the ability to be involved in partner's medical decisions.
So far Colorado Democrats have been able to advance the bill past two Republican-led House committees. The finance committee approved the measure with a 7-6 vote Friday after the bill passed the House judiciary committee late Thursday.
Rep. Don Beezley was the only Republican to support the measure on the finance panel.
"For me, it really came down to that basic issue of fairness and doing the right thing," Beezley said, echoing a similar comment made by Republican Rep. B.J. Nikkel, who joined Democrats on the judiciary committee in approving the measure.
The bill now goes before the appropriations committee. Democrats on that panel unanimously support the bill and need at least one Republican to vote yes for it to go to the full House.
Republican Rep. Cheri Gerou, a member of the appropriations committee, previously said she supports the measure.
Republicans have a 33-32 vote advantage in the House. But given the committee votes, where Republicans joined Democrats, the bill could have enough support for passage.
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