Measure proposed by Democrats would require two-thirds vote in each house to be placed on ballot; Governor Owens’ signature not needed
DENVER Two leading Democrats said Monday they want to ask Colorado voters to decide whether the state should legalize domestic partnerships for same-sex couples, calling it a legal issue, not a debate over traditional marriage values.
“There will be a social, ideological debate on all sides of this issue. We’re trying to address the middle of the road, the logical, legal arguments that need to be addressed,” said Senator Tom Plant, who said he will sponsor the measure with Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald.
The referred measure would need a two-thirds vote in each house to get on the November ballot, and it would not require the signature of Republican Governor Bill Owens.
The measure would give same-sex couples the right to visitation and to be involved in the care of hospital patients and nursing home residents, protection of property rights, including inheritance and pension benefits, access to a partner’s health care benefits and family leave benefits, and the right to take possession of a deceased partner’s remains.
Representative Kevin Lundberg, a Republican, said he expected Democrats to try this year after they rejected his proposal last year to ask voters to ban legal recognition of gay marriage. “I wanted to bring this issue to the people of Colorado last year, asking if we should define marriage as it has been defined for centuries, or do we change it.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition of January 20, 2006.