Senate Democrats poised to move Colorado's civil unions bill forward

Bill's initial approval expected Wednesday

DENVER - Democrats in the State Senate are in position to give initial approval to a civil unions bill Wednesday. The measure will likely clear both chambers quickly and be signed by the governor.

"More and more people come to meet gay and lesbian couples and our families. And they realize we have the same hopes and dreams as anyone else," said Brad Clark of One Colorado, an organization that promotes LGBT causes.

Although the bill is being propelled forward by Democrats, there is also some support from members of the traditionally conservative Republican party. Evergreen Republican Cheri Gerou is a co-sponsor in the house and a group of Republican activists have been lobbying behind the scenes

"I think there's a lot Republican support because it's traditionally liberty and equality are very conservative Republican principals," said Mario Nicolais of Coloradans for Freedom.

Bipartisan support may be moot, however. Democrats are the dominant party in this session and their support appears to be unanimous.

"Clearly the momentum is on our side," said Clark.

Political sources tell 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart there is some talk of having the bill signed into law on Valentine's Day. From a procedural standpoint, however, that may be a lofty goal.

Democrats are guarded about the possibility of marriage for gay couples because the state constitution bans it. Opponents of civil unions like Focus on the Family's CitizenLink say they worry gay marriage is the ultimate goal.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in March on California's constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Democratic Sen. Pat Steadman, the civil unions bill sponsor, says Colorado's constitutional amendment "will not stand the test of time."

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