Same-sex couples could get a belated valentine from Senate Judiciary committee

shawn mitchell photo.jpg
Shawn Mitchell.
The Colorado Legislature has a date with cupid a day after Valentine's Day. At 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the Colorado Civil Union Act in the old Supreme Court Chambers.

The bill would provide same-sex couples the same legal protections and benefits now only available to married couples.

Governor John Hickenlooper made the passage of a civil unions bill a major point in his State of the State speech -- a pronouncement that had Democrat lawmakers jumping to their feet, while many Republicans resolutely stuck to their chairs. A similar measure died last year when a Republican-controlled committee killed it with one vote.

But as Lynn Bartels reports in the Denver Post, such formerly stalwart opponents as state senator Shawn Mitchell are reconsidering the idea of civil unions -- if not same-sex marriages, which Colorado voters outlawed in 2006. "I am open to a bill that solves the problems of couples who can't marry," Mitchell told Bartels.

A Facebook page is encouraging supporters to come out tomorrow -- and to wear red, "so that we can show our legislators, loud and clear, that we want civil unions in our state!"

Back in 1992, the passage of Amendment 2 had Colorado labeled "The Hate State." Twenty years later, Colorado stands to make a lovely comeback if this bill makes it out of committee and onto the floor.

Feel like spreading the love? Click here to send an interactive Kenny Be valentine.

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