And the Centennial State makes six to allow the watered-down first step towards same-sex marriage equality:
The state House of Representatives voted 39-26 to pass the “Colorado Civil Union Act,” about one month after the Senate approved the bill. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who said he will sign the legislation, tweeted: “#CivilUnions passes! Today, every Coloradan has equal rights.”
Same-sex marriage is not allowed in Colorado, where voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2006 defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The civil-unions legislation passed on its third try, according to Lambda Legal.
It’s a tough road ahead before full same-sex marriage can prevail in the state, judging from the difficulties other states have faced to overturn their own constitutional bans, which usually requires court action. Meanwhile, Republicans are already declaring their intent to challenge the civil unions law “because it doesn’t offer religious exemptions”, whatever that specifically means. Can’t have basic civil rights for all contradict their right to act like discriminatory bigots, now can we?
As always, civil unions are more of a lackluster compromise than anything else (contra Gov. Hickenlooper’s premature victory call), but baby steps still trump no steps at all anyday. If anything, I view civil unions legislation as a way to mollify the general voting public over time until the majority are eventually willing to vote for full marriage rights. It’s slow and pragmatic, but sometimes, that’s how politics has to be in order for there to be any progress at all.