"I've been a part of the effort to legalize civil unions in Colorado now for several years. I feel a tremendous amount of pride for the people of Denver to work with their legislators to finally pass this piece of legislation to allow people to love and live as they so choose," he said.
The Denver Clerk and Recorder's Office said 130 couples checked in before Wednesday morning's 3 a.m. deadline. The office resumed issuing civil union licenses at 8 a.m.
In Boulder, 48 couples entered into civil unions overnight and the first license went to two Louisville women believed to have made history once before, the Daily Camera (http://bit.ly/15ZsrTt ) reported. The lawyer for Bonnie Lloyd and Pattea Carpenter said they're the first lesbian couple in the United States to have both of their names placed on their child's birth certificate.
Former county clerk Clela Rorex, who briefly issued same-sex marriage licenses 38 years ago, officiated at some of the ceremonies.
"It brings a lot of years kind of full circle finally, for me, and the decision I made years ago," Rorex told the newspaper.
Other counties waited until after daybreak to issue the licenses.
Colorado is the eighth state to have civil unions or similar laws. Nine states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill in March, marking the culmination of a dramatic shift in Colorado, where in 1992 voters approved a ban on discrimination protection for gays and in 2006 made gay marriage illegal under the state constitution.
But for many gay couples and gay rights advocates, the fight is not over.
Anna and Fran Simon, for example, who testified numerous times in favor of th2e civil union legislation, said they hope to get the chance to wear their wedding dresses one more time.
"Like most people growing up, you have a dream of falling in love and getting married, not getting a civil union," Anna Simon said.