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March 24, 2011 03:31 AM UTC

Civil Union Bill Wins Initial Senate Passage

  • by: Colorado Pols

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.


10 thoughts on “Civil Union Bill Wins Initial Senate Passage

  1. Sign a petition putting more pressure on McNulty!

    As a bonus, I cc’d the Judiciary Committee on the petition, since that’s McNulty’s likely move, whether he’s picking the most hostile committee he can plausibly send it to, or just going with the logical choice, based on the subject of the bill.

  2. If he helps it pass, then he has the ability say in future elections that he’s a moderate, small government Republican who wants to keep government out of our lives, etc.  That also runs him the risk of a primary though — there are plenty of social conservatives hanging around that might not see him as a real Republican if he doesn’t do everything he can to block it.

  3. …that blocking Civil Unions is the KEY to his becoming a great statewide candidate, then he is terribly misguided

    Colorado is not looking to be led by right-wingers (and for those who keep thinking that this good State is influenced by ‘conservative’ values, then why did Beauprez, Buck, and Tancredo all lose statewide???)

    Personally though, I’ve usually found McNulty to be a good guy and I expect this to pass – I’m not worried

    Personal prediction? Civil Unions pass the House, but McNulty votes against it – bases covered for everyone!

    1. But doubt that you are.  You and I both know that along with abortion these are litmus tests for the Republican Party today.  I don’t think McNulty will want the hassle.  And you and I both know that he is being threatened right now about his choice.  I predict it will go to a kill committee.

      And what is up with Kathleen Conti?  Are you kidding me?  Certainly this is not her reputation.  Wow!!!

    1. Interesting. I wonder if he intended to vote against the bill on second reading but was too dumb to figure out what he was voting on, and then corrected his mistake today.

      Or, did word spread among the right-wing faithful that about his vote so he needed a fast about-face?

      It would be nice if the local GJ paper would find out, but I’m not holding my breath.

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