Denver, Colo., Apr 2, 2011 / 09:10 am America/Denver (CNA).
A proposal to create civil unions for homosexual and unmarried heterosexual couples failed to advance through the Republican-controlled Colorado House Judiciary Committee by a party line vote of 6-5.
The March 31 vote came after eight hours of testimony, and rallies by opponents and supporters on the opposite sides of the state capitol building.
Opponents of the bill, including Catholics, held a noontime prayer vigil outside. Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley of Denver attended the event, as did a contingent of evangelical Christians from Colorado Springs.
Vigil attendee Christian Brugger told 9 News they opposed the bill “mainly because we believe marriage matters and this bill will assign civil benefits to couples of same-sex unions as if they were married.” He characterized the bill as “an end around” to circumvent a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
Supporters of the legislation on the other side of the capital waved rainbow-colored flags and said the bill was about “equality.” Attendees included Denver mayoral candidates Michael Hancock, Doug Linkhart and Carol Boigon.