Yesterday was a historic day in Colorado! It is the day that we, as a state, afforded all Colorado families basic rights. Starting in May, all loving partners, regardless of gender, can commit to one another through a civil union.
“We’ve come a long way from the dark days of 1992, when voters added a discriminatory provision to the Colorado Constitution that excluded gays and lesbians from equal protection under state law. Looking back on this chapter of our history puts today’s victory in perspective. To say I am proud is an understatement. Yes, the road to equality is long and rocky, but I worked alongside the best of the best.” said Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver).
“Today is a day that all Coloradans ought to celebrate! We all benefit from equality, if not directly, indirectly. Colorado does well economically when we put families first and encourage commitment and responsibility to one another,” said Sen. Lucia Guzman.
The process for a civil union:
- Loving partners will go to the County Clerk and Recorder in their area.
- The County Clerk gives the partners a license to complete.
- As with a marriage license, the partners will have to pay fees to attain the license. The actual license is $7, with an additional $3 going to vital statistics and $20 to the Colorado domestic abuse fund. When it is all added up, the total cost is $30.
- The partners must have the license certified by a judge of a court, a district court magistrate, a county court magistrate, a retired judge of a court, the parties to the civil union, or in accordance with a religious denomination or Indian Nation or tribe.
- The partners must return the completed license to the County Clerk and Recorder who will file it with the vital statistics office.
Colorado is the ninth state to have civil unions or a similar policy. Nine other states and Washington, D.C. offer full marriage equality.
A civil union in Colorado will afford partners the following:
- Responsibility to financially support one another
- Property rights
- Protections against discrimination based upon spousal status
- Rights within the probate laws
- The ability to adopt a partner’s child
- Protections under domestic violence laws
- Legal rights relating to medical care and treatment and hospital visitation
- Eligibility for family leave benefits
- Other rights and responsibilities