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Colorado senate to consider civil union bill

The Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on Wednesday voted 5-2 [materials] to approve a proposed civil union bill [SB12-002 text, PDF], referring it to the Colorado Senate [official website] for a full vote. The bill gives same-sex couples the "all legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities of spouses" joined in marriage. On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee heard testimony [JURIST report] from advocates and opponents of the bill. The bill is expected to pass in the state senate [AP report], before proceeding to the House, where House Speaker Frank McNulty (R) [official website] has voiced opposition. A similar civil union bill passed in the Colorado Senate last year [JURIST report], but was ultimately defeated in the House [Reuters report]. The Colorado constitution defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Issues surrounding same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] continue to occupy discussions among lawmakers and judges. On Tuesday the New Jersey Senate voted to approve a bill [JURIST report] that, if passed, would legalize same-sex marriage in the state. Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed legislation [JURIST report] Monday legalizing same-sex marriage, making Washington the eighth jurisdiction in the US to offer marriage to same-sex couples. Earlier this month, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional [JURIST report]. In January, an Iowa District Court ordered that the Iowa Department of Public Health include both names [JURIST report] of married same-sex parents on children's birth certificates.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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