The Colorado Independent’s Joseph Boven reports:
The gay and lesbian community are one step closer to being able to participate in state sanctioned unions after the Colorado Senate voted to pass on second reading SB 172. While Democrats heralded the bill as a historic moment in the fight for civil rights and the protection of children, many Republicans voted against the bill, saying it would weaken the institution of marriage…
Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, however, didn’t see eye to eye with Steadman on the issue. Acknowledging that the bill would pass the Senate, he argued, as he did in committee, that civil unions are as close to marriage as is possible for the Legislature to get. And he challenged Steadman’s assertion that people are ready for such legislation. He said the people of Colorado have been clear in in the past by voting down a similar initiative in 2006.
Despite Lundberg’s assertions that civil unions are not supported by the Colorado people, the Colorado Independent recently reported that last year two national polling firms, Greenberg Quinlan Rossner and American Viewpoint, found support for civil unions in the 70 percent to 80 percent range. This year Public Policy Polling found roughly 72 percent of Coloradans supported civil unions.
Once Senate Bill 172 wins its expected final passage in the Senate, all eyes will turn to the narrowly GOP-controlled House. Several Republican legislators have expressed at least hypothetical support for civil unions, which means that the bill stands a real chance of passage if it reaches the House floor. A large part of the question as to whether it will get that far rests with the committee assignments made by House Speaker Frank McNulty.
From what we’ve heard, McNulty could surprise: having known higher political aspirations, it’s a situation where McNulty could significantly reduce opposition to future career moves from some powerful interests who play in our state’s politics. Also, in view of the polling numbers above, it might be a good time to show off Meghan McCain’s Republican Party, since her Dad’s Republican Party is looking a little old-fashioned to the next generation of voters.