Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed a bill into law that will allow civil unions for same-sex couples in Colorado.
For the first time, these couples will have many of the same rights, protections and obligations of heterosexual couples, which will lead to more financially stable, self-sufficient and mutually supportive households. Now, children of same-sex couples will have greater protection and security.
Senate Bill 11, which would allow civil unions in Colorado, had its first hearing today, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and we hope it will have smooth sailing all the way to Gov. John Hickenlooper's desk. That would be a welcome contrast to the treatment the proposal received last session, when House leaders halted all business in the final hours and prevented final consideration of the bill.
Senate Bill 72, which would ensure that all Coloradans have protection against workplace discrimination, passed the Senate on a party-line vote today. Elena Fairley, a public policy fellow at the Bell, presented an Opportunity Note to senators and wrote the following summary of the issue.
Workplace discrimination is against the law. But in Colorado, not all people have access to legal recourse when the law is broken.
This bill represents a net opportunity gain for Colorado. It would enable more victims of discrimination and harassment in the workplace to seek redress through the court system, which would protect workers from unfair discriminatory practices. This would contribute to lower employee turnover, better work environments and greater productivity.
The anti-equal opportunity campaign, ironically calling itself the ???Colorado Civil Rights Initiative,??? has begun circulating petitions for signatures around the state to place an anti-affirmative action measure on the November 2008 ballot. The Bell Action Network recommends that if you are asked to sign a petition for this initiative, you decline to sign.