Supporters of defeated Colorado civil unions bill may plan ballot initiative

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April 6, 2011

Colorado

DENVER, Colorado: According to reports, Senate Bill 172 would have allowed for civil unions in the state, but was defeated on March 31, 2011 after seven hours of public testimonies followed by a party line vote by the legislature to strike down the bill. Opponents of the measure claimed that it was another way to implement same-sex marriage in the state. Now, supporters of the bill may have another way to bring up the issue again, this time for public vote. A ballot initiative could be filed for circulation, and could be placed on the 2011 ballot. Supporters would need to collect 85,854 signatures from registered voters in the state by the August 1, 2011 deadline in order for the initiative to be considered for the ballot.

State Representative Mark H. Barker, citing supporters' claims that 70% of state residents support civil unions, stated, "The citizens have already spoken, and we need to respect that. If 70% feel this is important to make a referendum or amendment, then they should put it on the ballot. At that point, we’ll have respected the will of the people. We have to trust the voters."[1]

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