GOP Kills Colorado Civil Unions in Special Session


As expected, Colorado’s Republican controlled House has in this special session killed a bill to legalize civil unions in the state.

Reports the Associated Press:

The bill’s demise was expected by Democrats, who have begun using the issue as a rallying cry to topple Republicans in the November elections. Republicans assigned the bill to the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, which voted 5-4 along party lines to kill the measure.

“My family is the same as every one of yours,” said Rep. Mark Ferrandino, the Democrats’ leader in the House and a gay lawmaker who co-sponsored the civil unions bill, moments before it was defeated.

Though the ending came as no surprise, the lead-up was emotional. Two Democratic lawmakers choked up before their votes. In the audience, Marq Shafer, 31, put his hand on his partner Cody Shafer’s shoulder and nervously rubbed Cody Shafer’s wedding ring.

Republican Rep. Don Coram, whose son is gay, cited his reasons for voting against the measure while his wife, Dianna Coram, wiped away tears in the audience. Coram said civil unions are too similar to same-sex marriage, which Colorado voters banned in 2006. He blasted Democrats, accusing them of bringing up the issue to try to gain votes.

While this is ultimately a stinging defeat for the gay community, it cannot be overlooked that Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, in calling for a special session, made the Republican House leadership own the fact that they worked overtime to try and prevent civil unions from reaching a floor vote because, if it had, they knew there was bipartisan support enough to pass the legislation.

This follows the extraordinary last few days of the legislative session last week when Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty and other Republicans deliberately ran down the clock by discussing other bills in excruciating detail so that the civil unions bill would not make it onto the floor on the final day of the session.

When Democratic lawmakers refused to keep playing that game, McNulty simply ended that night’s scheduling, killing almost 30 bills in the process.

Following the vote to kill the civil unions bill, McNulty reportedly said, “We have more important things to worry about.”

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.


Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas6 years ago

steve r. it's about EQUALITY. EQUAL RIGHTS. weather you want to admit it or not gays are YOUR EQUAL. you might think you are, but you aren't SUPERIOR TO ANYONE AND DEFINITELY NOT GAYS. nobody here gives a rats rectum about your marital and sexual insecurities that make you uncomfortable with same sex marriage. you don't have to be comfortable with a person's life style to support their constitutional right to live it same sex marriage doesn't affect your life in any way. this isn't about you steve. everybody on here knows you are a selfish, self centered, narcissist, but this isn't about you steve. this is about equal rights for everybody, weather you are comfortable with them or not. equality isn't based on YOU steve. that is why we have a constitution, that's why we have anti-discrimination laws in america, to protect minority rights from people like you who think freedom and equality are reserved only for those we want to grant them to. that's not a free society. your right to freedom of religion or whatever else you want to use as your excuse ends where the gay couples right to equality begins.

Tess H.
TL H6 years ago

Steve R. - "Different strokes for different folks"?! - That's your reasoning?! That's your slogan for discrimination?!

Why on earth should there be "different strokes for different folks" concerning the civil rights of the people of any nation? Especially in a nation such as the United States of America that proudly boast, "...liberty and justice for all" and "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Steve R.
Steve R6 years ago

"GOP Kills Colorado Civil Unions in Special Session"....

Well now - that's a little disappointing because, although I'm not comfortable with gay MARRIAGE, I have no problem with a CIVIL UNION that would give gays the same rights as married couples.

That's what it's all about after all, isn't it? The same rights?

Perhaps if the LGBT community, supported by liberals and probably a good number of independents and conservatives as well (there are conservative gays you know), had built a strong stand in favor of CIVIL UNIONS, instead of refusing to admit that there is a "difference", it's "out of the ordinary", not "mainstream", it might have accomplished it's goal by now.

Instead, they adopted the usual, arrogant, in your face approach that pissed of enough people to get gay MARRIAGE and "CIVIL UNIONS" banned in 44 of the 50 states!

Well how's that working out huh? Perhaps the activists should revisit the old adage "different strokes for different folks"?

Tess H.
TL H6 years ago

Some things for all heterosexual, homophobic people to think about: The millions of heterosexual, American couples who got married in civil unions, without "benefit" of clergy or "religious" ceremonies. The millions of heterosexual couples who are infertile. The millions of seniors, past their child bearing years who remarried. The millions of heterosexual, married, women who undergo hysterectomies every year in the United States. The millions of heterosexual, married men who have prostate cancer. The millions and millions of married, American couples who for some reason or another, do not have sexual relations. (I could go on, but you get the point.) ~ Has it ever occurred to you, that the very reasons you are using to deny homosexual marriage, would apply to millions and millions of married, heterosexual couples? Are you planning on voiding all these marriages on the same grounds you want to use to ban homosexual marriage? ~ Just wondering...

Barbara H.
Barbara H6 years ago

Democrats should have petitioned civil unions onto the ballot in Colorado, but they chose not to. Speaker of the House, McNulty, enforced what the people of Colorado voted for in 2006. He has an obligation to defend the Colorado Constitution which in 2006 added Amendment 43, defining marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman. Calling it a "civil union" just skirts the issue. The Democrats had full control of the house, senate and the governor's office not too long ago and this issue was never brought up. The Democrats claim public opinion has changed, so if this is fact, then they can simply bring this to the people for a vote and they should win easily. Some may call what McNulty did intolerant, but others feel that it is also intolerant to ignore voters and the law just because this is what the gay community wants. Holding a special session for this issue cost taxpayers and is viewed by some as a political maneuver by the Governor. This could all have been avoided by bringing the issue to the voters in Colorado in the first place.

JoAnne Klein
JoAnne Klein6 years ago

I fail to see what difference it makes in anyone's life as to who loves whom... Further, someone's sex life is PRIVATE... between the lovers regardless of gender. What the Hell are the non-LGBT so afraid of?

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch6 years ago


Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik6 years ago

Joe R - yes, Coram's Dad is a prick; but he is still his dad. Know you said it in jest but still. It solves no problems. I don't know what the answer is either - I guess it would help if we didn't have preachers preaching hate from their pulpits & saying it was OK to hate, disenfranchise & otherwise demean gay folk.

Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik6 years ago

So, his son is gay & he condemns his gay son to a life without a partner or no protections if he does??? Does this make sense? Seems like the Democrats are more concerned about the welfare of his son than he is.

Debbie Brady
Debbie Brady6 years ago

When a majority of the people in the State favor a Bill before their legislatures, the peoples representatives are obligated to pas the Bill.

I was on the steps of the Capital with One Colorado and listened while representatives, Ministers and others demanded that McNulty bring the Bill up for a vote on the house floor where it would have passed.

McNulty made his choice and sent the bill to a "Kill Committee". In November the voters will make their will known and Mc Nualty and many of his GOP colleagues will find themselves out of work.