The Democratic controlled Colorado Senate passed on Thursday a bill to legalize civil unions in the state.
Lawmakers voted 20-12 with 3 Republicans crossing party divisions to support the bill.
The bill was always expected to pass the Senate but must now go before the Republican controlled House.
A similar bill died last year because it did not get out of committee. It is believed that should the bill reach the House floor some Republican legislators may be persuaded to support the bill and it is widely understood that the votes are there to pass the legislation if, that it is, it can climb out of the committee stage.
Debate during Thursday’s Senate hearing, and in particular opposition to the bill, was steeped in religious language with one senator going so far as to ask “How do we deal with the issue of someone choosing homosexuality over heterosexuality?” and another senator explaining “our constitution was made” only for “moral and religious” people.
Watch the highlights below:
There were some bright spots, however, including Senator Nancy Spence who during the bill’s second reading made the conservative case for supporting the civil unions legislation:
A poll released in the last few weeks found 75% of Colorado voters support recognizing gay couples with marriage (47%) or civil unions (28%). Only 22% said there should be no legal recognition for same-sex relationships.
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