A new Republican group, Coloradoans for Freedom, has formed to advocate for civil unions in that state.
The group's purpose is "to provide resources to people interested in the conservative argument for civil unions," spokesman Mario Nicolais (pictured), a lawyer and self-described "hard-core partisan Republican," told The Denver Post.
It will hold a reception Thursday at a private home in Denver, and the keynote speaker will be former state representative Rob Witwer, a straight Republican who supports civil unions.
"In my mind, there's nothing inconsistent with being a Republican and supporting the rights of gay people to live as they choose," Witwer told the Post. "I would like gay people who believe in limited government and fiscal responsibility to know they still have a home in the Republican Party."
Legislation to establish civil unions for Colorado gay couples passed in the state Senate last year, but it died in a House committee, where every Democrat voted for it and every Republican against it. Lawmakers are expected to consider a similar bill in the new legislative session, which starts January 11.