STATUS: Civil union, anti-marriage constitutional amendment
WHAT'S HAPPENING: Beginning in May 2013, same-sex couples in Colorado will be able to join together in civil union. Now, state advocacy groups are looking forward to completing the state's evolution on marriage by repealing marriage discrimination and winning the freedom to marry for the citizens of Colorado.
HISTORY: In 2006, anti-gay forces in Colorado pushed through an anti-marriage constitutional amendment that excluded same-sex couples from marriage.
In 2009, Colorado approved the Designated Beneficiary Agreements Act of 2009, allowing same-sex couples to access some of the benefits that marriage affords.
In February 2011, the Colorado legislature considered the Colorado Civil Union Act of 2011, which passed out of the state Senate but failed in the House. In May 2012, the Colorado legislature was set to discuss the Colorado Civil Union Act of 2012, which would have granted same-sex couples some of the benefits of marriage. However, due to legislative inaction and a refusal to discuss the bill, the legislation failed.
On March 21, 2013, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law to allow same-sex couples to join together in civil union. The law takes effect on May 1.
POLLING DATA: In Colorado, only 22% of voters believe that there should be no legal recognition of relationships between same-sex couples, and a majority (53%) of Coloradans say the freedom to marry should be available for all couples. (Public Policy Polling, April 2012)
GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:
- One Colorado is a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to securing and protecting equality and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Coloradans and their families.
- Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
- Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.
NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES: According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 12,424 same-sex couples are living in Colorado, representing 6.3 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.
Blog Posts Related to Colorado
Freedom to Marry is proud to serve as a founding and leading member of the campaign. Alongside state stalwarts One Colorado and the ACLU of Colorado, Why Marriage Matters CO will fuel a robust conversation about same-sex couples and their families in the state.
Today, February 19, nine same-sex couples in Colorado filed a lawsuit in state court seeking the freedom to marry in their home state or respect for their marriages legally performed in other states.
Early this morning, May 1, a law that creates civil union for same-sex couples took effect in Colorado. As we celebrate the civil union law taking effect in Colorado, we also look forward to a day when same-sex couples can see their state stand up for their love, their commitment, and their families by extending the full freedom to marry.
Resources Related to Colorado
The Southern Poverty Law Center provides a detailed listing of anti-gay groups know for their dangerous propaganda aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
A listing of both state and national political parties that have made strong statements in support of the freedom to marry.
Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Colorado.