A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Colorado lawmakers approve civil unions for same-sex couples

The Colorado House of Representatives [official website] voted 39-26 Tuesday in favor of a bill to legalize civil unions [SB13-011, PDF] for same-sex couples. The legislation explicitly provides same-sex couples with many of the benefits held by married couples, including dependent insurance coverage and the ability to adopt a partner's child. It goes on to provide that "all legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities of spouses ... apply in like manner to parties in a civil union." Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper [official website] is expected to sign the bill into law. A similar bill passed in the Colorado Senate [JURIST report] in 2011 but was ultimately defeated in the House [Reuters report].

Issues surrounding same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] remain controversial throughout the US. Later this month, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases related to same-sex marriage. In Hollingsworth v. Perry [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will examine the validity of Proposition 8 [JURIST news archive], a California referendum that revoked same-sex marriage rights. In United States v. Windsor [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will examine the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive]. Same-sex marriage is currently legal in nine US states, as well as the District of Columbia. Last month the Illinois senate approved [JURIST report] same-sex marriage legislation. In January the Rhode Island House of Representatives approved a similar bill [JURIST report].

About Paper Chase

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.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.