A proposal to create civil unions died in the Colorado House on May 8 in the contentious final days of the legislative session, but the issue could revive because Gov. John Hickenlooper has called for a special session to address the bill.
The bill had died in the House Judiciary Committee in 2011. Opponents thought it would stall again in 2012, but one Republican legislator on the committee voted to advance the bill for a full House vote.
On the evening of May 8, House Republicans filibustered in committee and on the House floor. Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty called a recess and then announced an impasse, leading to the death of the civil unions bill and more than 30 other proposals.
Gov. Hickenlooper said his staff would decide what bills will be addressed in the special session, according to the Denver Post.
Civil unions will “certainly” be on the agenda, the governor said.
The special session could begin as early as Friday.
Supporters of the civil unions bill believe they have enough votes to pass the Republican-controlled House, including Republican Speaker pro-tem Kevin Priola.
In January Bishop James D. Conley, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Denver, said the proposal is “dangerous and unjust” and described it as a “stepping stone” to the redefinition of marriage.
“We do not know the long-term consequences of creating a parallel for marriage, distinct from its ancient and natural meaning. But we do know they will be severe,” he said in his Jan. 11 column for the Denver Catholic Register.