May 1, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Colorado civil unions law takes effect
John Hickenlooper, Colorado, gay news, Washington Blade

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

DENVER – Hundreds of same-sex couples in the state capital and in Boulder took advantage of Colorado’s civil unions law in the hours after it took effect at midnight on Wednesday.

Gov. John Hickenlooper said in March before he signed the bill state Sens. Pat Steadman and Lucia Guzman re-introduced earlier this year there is “no excuse that people shouldn’t have all the same rights.”

“It’s the beginning of the country changing,” the governor said. “A change has gotten here. It’s going to keep going. It’s not going to stop in Colorado, but I’d like to think this is a crucial point.”

The civil unions law took effect two decades after Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment that barred the state from enacting anti-gay discrimination laws.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck it down in 1996.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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