A number of Republicans from Colorado have banded together to form Coloradoans for Freedom, a group to advocate for civil unions in the state.
A spokesman for the group, self-avowed “hard-core partisan Republican” attorney Mario Nicolais, spoke to the Denver Post about why the group’s members believe that supporting civil unions is in fact in line with Republican ideas about small government and individual liberty.
“The point is not to create conflict within the Republican Party,” Nicolais told the Denver Post. “It’s to provide resources to people interested in the conservative argument for civil unions.”
The group is holding a “cocktail reception” on Thursday of this week. The key note speaker for the event will be former state Rep. Rob Witwer. He told the Denver Post his reasons for supporting civil unions, saying:
“In my mind, there’s nothing inconsistent with being a Republican and supporting the rights of gay people to live as they choose. I would like gay people who believe in limited government and fiscal responsibility to know they still have a home in the Republican Party.”
Last year Colorado legislators in the Senate passed a bill that would have legalized civil unions, voting 23-12 with the support of 3 GOP senators. However, while Republican support seemed to be possible in the House, the legislation died in House committee with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans voting to kill the bill.
During the Senate debate on the previous civil unions bill, Republican Jean White gave a powerful speech about why she supports civil union legislation, saying that civil unions are about “love, respect and commitment,” something she has witnessed firsthand because she has gay relatives.
A new civil union bill is expected to be introduced when lawmakers reconvene for the new legislative session next week.
Colorado Senator Jean White (R) Supports Civil Unions for her Gay Relatives (VIDEO)
Colorado Civil Unions Bill Passes Senate Reading
Colorado Senate Committee Advances Civil Unions Bill