Senate Judiciary OKs Civil Unions Bill

On Wednesday, Jan. 23, after several hours of testimony, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 11 and moved the bill to the Appropriations Committee for consideration of the fiscal implications of the bill. The CBA went on record for the second year to support the legislation. Several substantive sections of the Bar Association have supported the passage of this legislation and are continually reviewing the bill for possible technical corrections amendments. Technical amendments were adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee to comply with the "Rule of 7" days statutory time calculations.

The bill creates the "Colorado Civil Union Act" (Act) to authorize any two unmarried adults, regardless of gender, to enter into a civil union. Parties wanting to enter into a civil union apply to a county clerk and recorder for a civil union license. Certain persons may certify a civil union. After the civil union is certified, the officiant files the civil union certificate with the county clerk and recorder. A priest, minister, rabbi, or other official of a religious institution or denomination or an Indian nation or tribe is not required to certify a civil union in violation of his or her right to free exercise of religion. The criteria for a valid civil union are set forth in the bill.The CBA LPC voted to support this legislation on Jan. 18, 2013. Assigned to the Judiciary Committee.