Colorado to Hold Special Legislative Session on Civil Unions


After Colorado’s Republican House leadership, in an extraordinary procedural move, cut off debate on several pieces of legislation to prevent a vote on a civil unions bill this week, the state’s governor is set to announce a special session so that the legislation can still receive a floor vote.

Reports The Republic:

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper was expected to announce when he’ll call lawmakers back to Denver for a special lawmaking session to once again consider civil unions for same-sex couples. Hickenlooper said he’d call the special session after the civil unions measure failed in a late-night standoff in the Republican House.

With the end of the legislative session occurring on Wednesday, all legislation that needed a full House vote had to be placed on the agenda and debated Tuesday night.

The Republican House leadership was caught off-guard when a GOP-controlled House Judiciary Committee approved the bill last Thursday and had actively tried to put off a floor debate since then, hoping to run out the clock. They also knew that at least five Republicans supported the civil unions bill so if the legislation had moved to a vote it was expected to pass.

On Tuesday night lawmakers could not agree on which legislation to give priority as the GOP continued to filibuster the civil unions bill. Then, in what has been called an extraordinary move, Republican Speaker Frank McNulty said they had reached an impasse and adjourned the session, ending debate and preventing the bill–and almost 30 others–from coming to the floor.

Reports the Denvor Post:

Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, said the bill was heard late because the speaker pro tem, Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, was considering sponsoring the bill and asked him to wait until after the GOP state convention in mid-April. Priola said he wanted to make sure he didn’t have a primary opponent. Although Priola supports the bill, he did not sign on as the House sponsor, a role Ferrandino accepted.

“They have done this to themselves,” Steadman said. “They have brought dishonor and ill repute to the House. They ought to be ashamed.”

As mentioned above, the Tuesday night fracas took down around 30 other bills, among them a $20 million water projects bill, and legislation that would have set precise legal penalties for driving while under the influence of marijuana.

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.

Related Reading:

Colorado Senate Passes Civil Unions Bill

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

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to brainchildvn.


John Mansky
John Mansky5 years ago

Thank you for the article...

Debbie Brady
Debbie Brady5 years ago

When 75% of the citizens in a State favor a Bill before the legislature, it is the duty of their elected Representatives to pass the Bill. No excuses, they ether do the job the people sent them to Denver to do, or we will find someone else to do it!

Wendy Johnson

To Sandy E., who says, "IF gays are really this SELFISH,that they want to be heard NOW when this country is in such bad shape the I DO NOT like gays..."

Oh Sandy, do not talk like a fathead. I am sure you would love to give up your own civil rights until we are out of this recession and the deficit is down to zero?

Just what is the Colorado legislature up to that is so very much more important? Oh I see, they were going to go on vacation, weren't they? Because a regular session only lasts 120 days ( And the Governor is calling them back to talk about this, and several other important subjects, such as unemployment, that the GOP members couldn't be bothered to address during the regular session (

Oh yeah, I am shocked, simply shocked, at those SELFISH gay people, and unemployed people, and all the others, who didn't want the legislature going off on vacation when there was still work left to be done!

Audrey H.
Audrey H5 years ago

The special session is set to begin on Monday!

Sandy E, thanks for your eloquent diatribe with regards to gay people. I think the truly selfish people here are the ones that believe like you and Frank McNulty!

Change is hard for people, but this is the 21st Century and some of us already live in it while others have to be dragged kicking and screaming into it. Now that is sad!

Sandy Erickson
Sandy Erickson5 years ago

IF gays are really this SELFISH,that they want to be heard NOW when this country is in such bad shape the I DO NOT like gays. SELFISH PEOPLE SUCK! But maybe GAYS are use to SUCKing.

J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago

Kudos to the Governor for making these GOP legislators do their jobs!!!!

Wim Zunnebeld
Wim Zunnebeld5 years ago

noted thx for the info!

Wim Zunnebeld
Wim Zunnebeld5 years ago

noted thx for the info!