Colo. lawmakers considering civil unions |

Colo. lawmakers considering civil unions

DENVER – Two openly gay Colorado Democrats are leading an effort to grant same-sex couples similar rights and protections as married couples.

Denver Sen. Pat Steadman and Denver Rep. Mark Ferrandino say they believe most Coloradoans support their idea and that a lot has changed since voters approved a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2006.

Senate Bill 172 is not about gay marriage but it gives couples in civil unions several legal rights, including the ability to be involved in medical decisions. The bill also enhances inheritance rights and makes it easier for a couple to list each other as dependents with health insurance.

Senate Republicans say voters want lawmakers to focus on the economy, not civil unions.

Hawaii and Illinois recently passed civil union legislation.

The bill faces its first hearing at the Capitol Monday.

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