Colorado approves civil unions

Colorado lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to legal recognition and protections for couples regardless of gender.

The bill passed 39-26 with blanket support from Democrats and two votes from Republicans.

Colorado Rep. Joann Ginal, an openly gay Democrat, said the time has come, and pleads to support equality for everyone.

However, the bill does not include religious exemptions for adoption organizations that last year’s proposal contained.

The GOP missed its chance to compromise on religious exemptions due to the blockage of civil unions last year, responded Rep. Cheri Gerou, a Republican who voted in favor of the bill.

Although Colorado voters banned same-sex marriages seven years ago, the U.S. Supreme ruling on same-sex marriage laws could change that in the future.

Among rights now allowed to civil unions are joint adoption, medical decisions for partners, property succession rights, and hospital and jail visitation privileges.

About Kristin Wiseman