Colorado lawmakers are discussing a civil union bill starting Monday that would grant same-sex couples throughout the state the same rights as married heterosexual couples.
Two gay Democrats from Denver, Sen. Pat Steadman (pictured) and Rep. Mark Ferrandino, are sponsoring a bill that would extend to same-sex couples several rights and responsibilities, including enhancing inheritance rights and the right to make medical decisions, according to the Associated Press.
Democrats expect the bill will have no trouble passing the senate, where Steadman introduced it on Valentine's Day. Every Democrat has signed on as a cosponsor of the bill, and they enjoy a 20-15 majority.
The bill might have a tougher time passing the House, where Republicans have a slight majority.
Since the beginning of the year, Hawaii and Illinois have enacted similar civil union bills. Gay and lesbian couples in Colorado would not be allowed to marry, so the civil union bill would not violate the state's constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.