A bill calling for civil partnerships for gay couples, granting rights similar to that granted by marriages, has passed through a Republican-led judiciary committee, even though it was rejected by the same committee last year.
The vote passed through by just one vote, the decisive one being cast by Republican B. J. Nickel, who had previously spoken against the bill. However, she said she changed her mind after seeing an outpouring of support for the measure at the committee’s hearing, many wearing red t-shirts bearing the slogan, “One Love.”
Now, the bill has to pass through two other committees, and then a full House vote, before the current session ends on Wednesday. That in theory shouldn’t be a problem, as supporters of the bill say they have enough support from the Republicans and get it to the Democratic Governor, John Hickenlooper — who has confirmed she would sign the bill into law.
The problem now is one of scheduling, which the Republicans control in the House, and wherein they have a one-vote advantage. The House Speaker, Republican Frank McNulty, cautioned lawmakers against questioning their opponents’ motives, just because certain bills don’t get preferential treatment.
Mr McNulty in an interview with the Associated Press that Senate Democrats moved the bill very slowly through the House just in order to force a decision in the final days of the legislative season.
However, Daniel Kagan, a Democrat, said that this was “not a trivial matter,” and said that they were there “to do the work of the people,” who “very much” wanted a decision on civil unions.