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FOUNDED IN 1898 H VOL. 114, NO. 11 H DENVER, CO H MARCH 15, 2013 ©

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Legislature approves civil unions Bill gets bipartisan support in House of Representatives BY ERNEST LUNING THE COLORADO STATESMAN Recognize these House Dems? Those Were The Days! — Page 4

Wish U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman Happy Birthday on March 19!

The state House of Representatives on Tuesday gave final, bipartisan approval to civil unions despite complaints from Republican lawmakers that the legislation failed to protect those who object to same-sex couples on religious grounds. “This bill is about three simple things: it’s about love, it’s about family, and it’s about equality under the law,” said House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, the chamber’s first openly gay leader and one of the bill’s chief sponsors. “Let me be clear: this is not marriage,” he said, adding that he supports gay marriage, which is forbidden under a 2006 amendment to the Colorado Constitution. Continued on Page 12

The eight openly gay members of the Colorado legislature, all Democrats — from left, Reps. Joann Ginal, Dominick Moreno, Sue Schafer, Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, Sen. Pat Steadman, House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, Sen. Lucia Guzman and Rep. Paul Rosenthal — gather on the House floor to discuss passage of a civil unions bill March 12. Asked which were planning on joining civil unions, five raised their hands but Steadman, whose partner died last summer, kept his hands clasped. PHOTO BY ERNEST LUNING/THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Ben the WineBerg’s Politics Uncorked column — Page 22

School Finance Act could be overhauled

Tuesday, March 19: City Club of Denver – 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m., Brown Palace, 321 17th St., Denver. Speaker: Dr. Thomas E. Cronin, author, Governing a Purple State: Colorado Politics and Policy. Cost: $29/members, $35/nonmembers. Info: 303-339-1360 or cityclubofdenver.org.

Become our fan on Facebook The Colorado Statesman Follow us on @ ColoStatesman Visit our website: coloradostatesman.com

Public could ultimately decide possible ballot measure BY MARIANNE GOODLAND THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Plaintiff Taylor Lobato talks to the media after oral arguments on her school funding case were made to the Colorado Supreme Court on March 7. — See page 2. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COLORADO EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

Members of the Colorado General Assembly aren’t waiting for a decision from the Colorado Supreme Court in Lobato v. State of Colorado (see story, page 2). Last Friday, Sens. Michael Johnston, D-Denver, and Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, introduced Senate Bill 13-213, a new Public School Finance Act that Johnston says will address some of the issues raised in Lobato. If passed by the General Assembly, SB 213 will go to the Continued on Page 5

Mid-session at Joint select committee Capitol fosters meets to hash out pot regs finger pointing BY PETER MARCUS

THE COLORADO STATESMAN

BY PETER MARCUS THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Legislative leaders were quick to point the finger at their political counterparts as the midsession approached on March 7, with each party arguing that the other is out of touch with the will of Colorado voters. Democrats first defended their ambitious agenda so far this session, which has included a comprehensive package of gun control legislation, and controversial measures to support same-sex civil unions and provide in-state tuition to undocumented students. “There are some people who may say that we’re doing too much. I say, ‘Absolutely not,’” declared House Majority Leader Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder. “Whether it’s gun safety, or civil unions, or ensuring that every Coloradan has a chance to get a great college education, our values and our legislative Continued on Page 15

Establishing regulatory framework for legalization of adultuse marijuana in Colorado could come down to a last-minute effort by the legislature after an implementation task force on Wednesday issued a 165-page report to lawmakers and the governor’s office with 58 policy recommendations. Jack Finlaw, co-chairman of the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force and chief legal counsel to Gov. John Hickenlooper, called the report a “gift” for lawmakers. “I see this as a gift that we’re giving the legislature, and fortunately, I think they see it that way as well,” Finlaw told reporters at a news

conference Wednesday morning at the new Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center. Lawmakers are certainly thankful for the nearly three months of work that the 24-member task force — convened by the governor — put into establishing the state as a national model for governing marijuana legalization. But fears are rising over whether the legislature will have enough time to implement the rules by the end of the legislative session, as is required by voters under Amendment 64. The Department of Revenue must adopt regulations passed by the legislature by July 1. If the legislature Continued on Page 10


PAGE 12 ★ THE COLORADO STATESMAN ★ MARCH 15, 2013 “Legislatures represent people, not acres or trees.” — Earl Warren

PAGE 13 ★ THE COLORADO STATESMAN ★ MARCH 15, 2013 “I’ll sign anything except bad legislation.” — Kinky Friedman

...Ferrandino: Civil unions bill ‘is about love, family, and equality under the law’ Continued from Page 1

“While this is not marriage, civil unions will provide the basic legal protections for families in this state.” Noting that Colorado’s legislature has the highest percentage of openly gay members in the country — five House members and three senators, all Democrats — Ferrandino said, “While we are equal in many ways to the 60 other members of this body, our love is not equal, our families are not equal.” The Colorado Civil Union Act would grant any couple — gay or straight — rights similar to those enjoyed by married couples in Colorado, including hospital visitation rights, the ability to make medical decisions, inheritance rights, joint adoption and provisions to dissolve the relationship, including custody and visitation rights. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has said he will sign the legislation. On Tuesday afternoon he tweeted: “#CivilUnions passes! Today, every Coloradan has equal rights.” The bill was sponsored in the House by Ferrandino and Rep. Sue Schafer, DWheat Ridge, and in the Senate by Sens. Pat Steadman and Lucia Guzman, both Denver Democrats. “We truly do stand on the edge of history. For some in this chamber, this is the reason we are here in this time and this place,” said Rep. Pete Lee, DColorado Springs, before the House voted. He called the chance to support the bill “a time for redemption of the slights, of the uncomfortable secrets, of the taunts and the sneers,” adding, “We vote today to redeem our friends, our aunts, our uncles, our brothers, our sisters, our children, and I daresay, our colleagues, from the scourge of discrimination and inequality.” The lopsided 39-26 vote — two Republicans voted with every House Democrat — caps a three-year fight over the legislation, which passed the Senate during the previous two sessions but died both times in the House, which was then controlled by Republicans. The bill came to a late-night end when GOP leaders shut down debate on dozens of bills rather than bring civil unions to a vote as the legislative clock ran out. Its demise led Hickenlooper to call a special session, where Republicans swiftly killed it in committee. The bill’s spectacular fate became a rallying cry for Democrats, who seized control of the House in last year’s elections in part by blasting what they termed the chamber’s “dysfunctional” Republican leadership. “The people spoke in November, and we are fulfilling a promise that we made at the end of last session that we would get this done, and now it’s heading to the governor,” said Ferrandino after the bill had passed. He added that he’s never hidden his

tive bill.” Before casting her vote on Tuesday, Gerou insisted that she wasn’t an outlier in her party, despite the vote that was about to occur. “I want to make sure that everyone knows that the conservatives and the Republican Party is a bigger party than the bulk of the conversation that’s been held here,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of Republicans that think differently than other Republicans, and that’s what I like about the party. It truly is about individual freedom, which is what this bill is about.” Ferrandino’s husband, Greg Wertsch, lauded the bill’s passage and said that the couple’s foster daughter Lila would one day be glad she had been there to witness it, although he allowed that the State Reps. Sue Schafer, D-Wheat Ridge, and Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, listen to debate on the Colorado Civil Union Act on March 11 at the Capitol. toddler probably The bill passed on a voice vote and went on to pass 39-26 the next day. wasn’t aware of the desire for “full marriage equality” for “One thing I won’t compromise is Addressing complaints by Republicans day’s historic imporgay couples in Colorado, which is equal rights,” Ferrandino retorted. He that prior versions of the bill included tance. currently forbidden by a 2006 votercalled it “shocking” that Conti’s the religious conscience exemptions they “I’ve been telling House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, makes notes during debate on the civil unions bill on March 11 at the Capitol. PHOTOS BY ERNEST LUNING/THE COLORADO STATESMAN approved constitutional amendment. proposed amendment would allow county were seeking to add, Ferrandino grew her,” he said with a Steadman echoed the sentiment at a clerks to claim a religious exemption and exasperated. laugh. “I think she’s pointing out that Colorado voters in vote my rights, my love for my partner recorded vote, Gardner summed up his celebratory press conference on the refuse to issue civil union certificates. “What’s different this year than last just very happy that we’re happy. As she 2006 had rejected a similar proposal. and my family, or for anyone.” opposition to its current form. House floor. “That, to me, makes no sense. That’s year,” he said, was what he concluded gets older, I think she’s going to be very That year, voters narrowly defeated A visibly angry Rep. Jovan Melton, D“My primary objection to Senate Bill Noting that he’s fought for gay civil just wrong.” “after talking to people, not just people proud about her papa doing this in 11 as it exists today is that, while it may rights for decades — since state voters He also objected to a provision in who want to change it and won’t vote for Referendum I, which would have created Aurora, took to the microphone after Colorado and that she was here today on domestic partnerhours of discussion about whether or not be inevitable that civil unions will passed Amendment 2, which prohibited Conti’s amendment that would allow it no matter this significant day.” ships for same-sex religious folk could discriminate against become the law of Colorado, and, in fact, anti-discrimination laws favoring gay vendors to refuse service to couples what’s in the bill. “I’m very excited for all the children couples. gay couples. commonplace by this time next year, this residents in Colorado and was eventually engaging in a civil union based on reliThey didn’t want in Colorado who are in gay and lesbian “OK, really?” an “I’m trying to understand something bill does not recognize and does not take overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, gious objections, saying the legislature to enshrine families because it’s going to mean more incredulousthat’s happening in this chamber today. cognizance of the religious conscience of Steadman said, “Today really is the high had already prohibited certain forms of discrimination into protection for them, safety and security looking Ferrandino When did ‘discrimination’ become a good those who have entities that make child point of that struggle. And yet, we’re not discrimination in a 2008 public-accomthis bill that’s in homes,” Wertsch said, adding that he said. “I don’t ask word? When did it become OK to come placements, that do hiring, that make there yet. Civil unions are not marriage, modations law. trying to create and Ferrandino are planning to enter to put your relaup to the well and say, ‘Oh, we discrimidecisions about who will instruct and they are something that is separate and “What this bill is about, really, is the equality. That’s into a civil union soon after May 1, when tionships up to a nate all the time, and that’s OK’?” raise and nurture their children,” he distinct and unequal, and that really Bible. Is it right or wrong?” said Rep. the difference.” the law is expected to take effect. vote of the people,” Melton said. “I’m a Christian, and what said. isn’t good enough. We passed this bill Lori Saine, R-Dacono. None of the When the legislature’s eight openly he said. “I don’t I remember from the Book of Luke is “We won’t get to debate this again because this is the best we can do.” Arguing that, “we make exceptions for proposed amendgay members gathered to discuss the think we should that the greatest commandment is to here, we will debate this in a court of During a tense floor debate that religious institutions all the time,” Saine ments, which bill’s passage on Tuesday, five — ask the people of treat others as you would want to be law,” warned Saine on Tuesday. lasted more than four hours on Monday, asked, “Where is the separation of Ferrandino said including Ferrandino — raised their Colorado to decide treated.” Nevertheless, two Republicans voted Republican lawmakers argued that the church and state in this chamber?” She would have the hands when asked who was planning on on basic, legal, civil Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado for the bill on final passage, including bill fell short, proposing several amendrepeatedly asked whether the House effect of a civil union. rights,” adding Springs, who led much of the debate Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock — ments to grant exemptions to county plans to cancel the morning prayer and “enshrining Steadman, whose long-time partner, that he hadn’t opposed to the bill, said that he knew his who gave an emotional account of her clerks, adoption agencies and businesses remove the utterance “under God” from discrimination in Dave Misner, died last summer after a supported sending words might be misconstrued. “I very decision two weeks earlier when she cast whose religious beliefs might be offended daily proceedings. state laws,” were brief battle with pancreatic cancer, kept Referendum I to clearly said that I abhor the denial of an aye vote in the House Judiciary by offering their services to gay couples. The bill exempts pastors, reverends, adopted. his hands clasped and lowered. the ballot either. equal protection under the law, discrimiCommittee — and Rep. Cheri Gerou, R“We are talking about deeply held reli- rabbis and other clergy from any duty to Rep. Amy “Some of us don’t get that opportu“Granted, public nation by the state, and, I, frankly, on a Evergreen, who has supported the bill gious beliefs,” said Minority Caucus perform a civil union. It also lets instituStephens, Rnity,” he said. Then he added, “But opinion has personal basis, abhor discrimination for for years. Chair Kathleen Conti, R-Littleton, who tions whose primary purpose is religious Colorado Springs, there’s always the future. Never say changed in this reasons of race or region or nation orien“What I think this bill is really about noted that last year’s version of the civil — churches and synagogues, for also tried to never.” area, but I still tation or ethnicity or sexual orientation,” is personal freedom and individual unions bill had reached the House floor instance, but not subsidiary businesses amend the bill to State Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora waits to don’t think we he said. liberty,” Gerou said on the floor on speak during debate on the civil unions bill in with some of the exemptions she was or charities run religious organizations send the measure — Ernest@coloradostatesman.com the Colorado House on March 11. should put to a The next day, before the bill’s final, Monday. “I think this is a good conservaproposing. — opt out of involvement in civil unions. to the 2014 ballot,

State Reps. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, and Lois Court, D-Denver, are all smiles after the Colorado Civil Union Act passes the House on a 39-26 vote on March 12. Court wore a necklace featuring a carving of a turtle, she said, to signify that the legislative progress can be slow but eventually crosses the finish line.

State Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, talk during debate on the civil unions bill on March 11 at the Capitol. The bill, sponsored by Ferrandino, passed 39-26 the next day and is on its way to the governor's desk.

Minority Caucus Chair Kathleen Conti, R-Littleton, proposes an amendment to the Colorado Civil Union Act during debate on the measure on March 11 in the state House of Representatives.

“I think this is a good conservative bill,” says state Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, during debate on the civil unions bill in the Colorado House on March 11. Gerou was one of two Republicans to support the measure in the House, which passed the legislation 39-26.


PAGE 12 ★ THE COLORADO STATESMAN ★ MARCH 15, 2013 “Legislatures represent people, not acres or trees.” — Earl Warren

PAGE 13 ★ THE COLORADO STATESMAN ★ MARCH 15, 2013 “I’ll sign anything except bad legislation.” — Kinky Friedman

...Ferrandino: Civil unions bill ‘is about love, family, and equality under the law’ Continued from Page 1

“While this is not marriage, civil unions will provide the basic legal protections for families in this state.” Noting that Colorado’s legislature has the highest percentage of openly gay members in the country — five House members and three senators, all Democrats — Ferrandino said, “While we are equal in many ways to the 60 other members of this body, our love is not equal, our families are not equal.” The Colorado Civil Union Act would grant any couple — gay or straight — rights similar to those enjoyed by married couples in Colorado, including hospital visitation rights, the ability to make medical decisions, inheritance rights, joint adoption and provisions to dissolve the relationship, including custody and visitation rights. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has said he will sign the legislation. On Tuesday afternoon he tweeted: “#CivilUnions passes! Today, every Coloradan has equal rights.” The bill was sponsored in the House by Ferrandino and Rep. Sue Schafer, DWheat Ridge, and in the Senate by Sens. Pat Steadman and Lucia Guzman, both Denver Democrats. “We truly do stand on the edge of history. For some in this chamber, this is the reason we are here in this time and this place,” said Rep. Pete Lee, DColorado Springs, before the House voted. He called the chance to support the bill “a time for redemption of the slights, of the uncomfortable secrets, of the taunts and the sneers,” adding, “We vote today to redeem our friends, our aunts, our uncles, our brothers, our sisters, our children, and I daresay, our colleagues, from the scourge of discrimination and inequality.” The lopsided 39-26 vote — two Republicans voted with every House Democrat — caps a three-year fight over the legislation, which passed the Senate during the previous two sessions but died both times in the House, which was then controlled by Republicans. The bill came to a late-night end when GOP leaders shut down debate on dozens of bills rather than bring civil unions to a vote as the legislative clock ran out. Its demise led Hickenlooper to call a special session, where Republicans swiftly killed it in committee. The bill’s spectacular fate became a rallying cry for Democrats, who seized control of the House in last year’s elections in part by blasting what they termed the chamber’s “dysfunctional” Republican leadership. “The people spoke in November, and we are fulfilling a promise that we made at the end of last session that we would get this done, and now it’s heading to the governor,” said Ferrandino after the bill had passed. He added that he’s never hidden his

tive bill.” Before casting her vote on Tuesday, Gerou insisted that she wasn’t an outlier in her party, despite the vote that was about to occur. “I want to make sure that everyone knows that the conservatives and the Republican Party is a bigger party than the bulk of the conversation that’s been held here,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of Republicans that think differently than other Republicans, and that’s what I like about the party. It truly is about individual freedom, which is what this bill is about.” Ferrandino’s husband, Greg Wertsch, lauded the bill’s passage and said that the couple’s foster daughter Lila would one day be glad she had been there to witness it, although he allowed that the State Reps. Sue Schafer, D-Wheat Ridge, and Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, listen to debate on the Colorado Civil Union Act on March 11 at the Capitol. toddler probably The bill passed on a voice vote and went on to pass 39-26 the next day. wasn’t aware of the desire for “full marriage equality” for “One thing I won’t compromise is Addressing complaints by Republicans day’s historic imporgay couples in Colorado, which is equal rights,” Ferrandino retorted. He that prior versions of the bill included tance. currently forbidden by a 2006 votercalled it “shocking” that Conti’s the religious conscience exemptions they “I’ve been telling House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, makes notes during debate on the civil unions bill on March 11 at the Capitol. PHOTOS BY ERNEST LUNING/THE COLORADO STATESMAN approved constitutional amendment. proposed amendment would allow county were seeking to add, Ferrandino grew her,” he said with a Steadman echoed the sentiment at a clerks to claim a religious exemption and exasperated. laugh. “I think she’s pointing out that Colorado voters in vote my rights, my love for my partner recorded vote, Gardner summed up his celebratory press conference on the refuse to issue civil union certificates. “What’s different this year than last just very happy that we’re happy. As she 2006 had rejected a similar proposal. and my family, or for anyone.” opposition to its current form. House floor. “That, to me, makes no sense. That’s year,” he said, was what he concluded gets older, I think she’s going to be very That year, voters narrowly defeated A visibly angry Rep. Jovan Melton, D“My primary objection to Senate Bill Noting that he’s fought for gay civil just wrong.” “after talking to people, not just people proud about her papa doing this in 11 as it exists today is that, while it may rights for decades — since state voters He also objected to a provision in who want to change it and won’t vote for Referendum I, which would have created Aurora, took to the microphone after Colorado and that she was here today on domestic partnerhours of discussion about whether or not be inevitable that civil unions will passed Amendment 2, which prohibited Conti’s amendment that would allow it no matter this significant day.” ships for same-sex religious folk could discriminate against become the law of Colorado, and, in fact, anti-discrimination laws favoring gay vendors to refuse service to couples what’s in the bill. “I’m very excited for all the children couples. gay couples. commonplace by this time next year, this residents in Colorado and was eventually engaging in a civil union based on reliThey didn’t want in Colorado who are in gay and lesbian “OK, really?” an “I’m trying to understand something bill does not recognize and does not take overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, gious objections, saying the legislature to enshrine families because it’s going to mean more incredulousthat’s happening in this chamber today. cognizance of the religious conscience of Steadman said, “Today really is the high had already prohibited certain forms of discrimination into protection for them, safety and security looking Ferrandino When did ‘discrimination’ become a good those who have entities that make child point of that struggle. And yet, we’re not discrimination in a 2008 public-accomthis bill that’s in homes,” Wertsch said, adding that he said. “I don’t ask word? When did it become OK to come placements, that do hiring, that make there yet. Civil unions are not marriage, modations law. trying to create and Ferrandino are planning to enter to put your relaup to the well and say, ‘Oh, we discrimidecisions about who will instruct and they are something that is separate and “What this bill is about, really, is the equality. That’s into a civil union soon after May 1, when tionships up to a nate all the time, and that’s OK’?” raise and nurture their children,” he distinct and unequal, and that really Bible. Is it right or wrong?” said Rep. the difference.” the law is expected to take effect. vote of the people,” Melton said. “I’m a Christian, and what said. isn’t good enough. We passed this bill Lori Saine, R-Dacono. None of the When the legislature’s eight openly he said. “I don’t I remember from the Book of Luke is “We won’t get to debate this again because this is the best we can do.” Arguing that, “we make exceptions for proposed amendgay members gathered to discuss the think we should that the greatest commandment is to here, we will debate this in a court of During a tense floor debate that religious institutions all the time,” Saine ments, which bill’s passage on Tuesday, five — ask the people of treat others as you would want to be law,” warned Saine on Tuesday. lasted more than four hours on Monday, asked, “Where is the separation of Ferrandino said including Ferrandino — raised their Colorado to decide treated.” Nevertheless, two Republicans voted Republican lawmakers argued that the church and state in this chamber?” She would have the hands when asked who was planning on on basic, legal, civil Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado for the bill on final passage, including bill fell short, proposing several amendrepeatedly asked whether the House effect of a civil union. rights,” adding Springs, who led much of the debate Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock — ments to grant exemptions to county plans to cancel the morning prayer and “enshrining Steadman, whose long-time partner, that he hadn’t opposed to the bill, said that he knew his who gave an emotional account of her clerks, adoption agencies and businesses remove the utterance “under God” from discrimination in Dave Misner, died last summer after a supported sending words might be misconstrued. “I very decision two weeks earlier when she cast whose religious beliefs might be offended daily proceedings. state laws,” were brief battle with pancreatic cancer, kept Referendum I to clearly said that I abhor the denial of an aye vote in the House Judiciary by offering their services to gay couples. The bill exempts pastors, reverends, adopted. his hands clasped and lowered. the ballot either. equal protection under the law, discrimiCommittee — and Rep. Cheri Gerou, R“We are talking about deeply held reli- rabbis and other clergy from any duty to Rep. Amy “Some of us don’t get that opportu“Granted, public nation by the state, and, I, frankly, on a Evergreen, who has supported the bill gious beliefs,” said Minority Caucus perform a civil union. It also lets instituStephens, Rnity,” he said. Then he added, “But opinion has personal basis, abhor discrimination for for years. Chair Kathleen Conti, R-Littleton, who tions whose primary purpose is religious Colorado Springs, there’s always the future. Never say changed in this reasons of race or region or nation orien“What I think this bill is really about noted that last year’s version of the civil — churches and synagogues, for also tried to never.” area, but I still tation or ethnicity or sexual orientation,” is personal freedom and individual unions bill had reached the House floor instance, but not subsidiary businesses amend the bill to State Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora waits to don’t think we he said. liberty,” Gerou said on the floor on speak during debate on the civil unions bill in with some of the exemptions she was or charities run religious organizations send the measure — Ernest@coloradostatesman.com the Colorado House on March 11. should put to a The next day, before the bill’s final, Monday. “I think this is a good conservaproposing. — opt out of involvement in civil unions. to the 2014 ballot,

State Reps. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, and Lois Court, D-Denver, are all smiles after the Colorado Civil Union Act passes the House on a 39-26 vote on March 12. Court wore a necklace featuring a carving of a turtle, she said, to signify that the legislative progress can be slow but eventually crosses the finish line.

State Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, talk during debate on the civil unions bill on March 11 at the Capitol. The bill, sponsored by Ferrandino, passed 39-26 the next day and is on its way to the governor's desk.

Minority Caucus Chair Kathleen Conti, R-Littleton, proposes an amendment to the Colorado Civil Union Act during debate on the measure on March 11 in the state House of Representatives.

“I think this is a good conservative bill,” says state Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, during debate on the civil unions bill in the Colorado House on March 11. Gerou was one of two Republicans to support the measure in the House, which passed the legislation 39-26.

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