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Judiciary committee approves Colorado civil unions

PinkNews Staff Writer March 8, 2011

DENVER, CO - MAY 1: Anna (L) and Fran Simon, both of Denver, Colorado, are the first same-sex couple to be issued a Civil Union license at a midnight ceremony in the Denver Office of the Clerk and Recorder, at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building on May 1, 2013 in Denver, Co. Colorado is the eighth state to have civil unions or similar laws implemented, permitting unmarried couples, both gay and heterosexual, the ability to form civil unions and get similar rights to those of married couples. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

A judiciary committee of the Colorado Senate has approved a bill to give gay couples the right to civil unions.

Senate Bill 172, if passed, will give gay couples the right to visit each other in hospitals or prisons, make medical decisions, claim some benefits and inherit property.

It was introduced by Denver senator Pat Steadman, who is gay.

He said: “The importance of this issue is that there are literally thousands of families in Colorado that currently do not have the equal protection of state law that are available to others.”

The judiciary committee approved the bill by six votes to three yesterday.

The court chambers heard arguments for and against the bill, including one woman who mentioned Stalin in her opposition.

Rosina Kovar also claimed that the bill would lead to compulsory sex education for five-year-olds.

But gay couple Tom Carllon and Gabe Martinez, who married in California in 2008, also argued against the bill, calling instead for gay marriage.

“Civil unions will be an excuse not to upgrade us to marriage,” Mr Carllon testified. “The public will forever equate civil unions as marriage, or, less hopefully, just ‘good enough’ as marriage.”

More: Americas

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