Earlier today, Colorado Speaker of the House Frank McNulty and Republican House leadership defied the will of their own party and the will of most Coloradans by killing the civil unions bill.
When the bill was first introduced in the House, McNulty promised it would get a fair hearing.
Senate Bill 2, allowing civil unions, originally passed the Colorado Senate 23-12 with the support of three Republicans just a weeks prior to today’s vote. It was then referred to the House, where Speaker McNulty sent the bill to the House Judiciary Committee, the same committee that killed the bill in 2011.
A member of his own party, Representative BJ Nikkel (R-Loveland) voted for the civil unions bill, and it passed in the Judiciary Committee. The bill then passed two more House committees with Republican votes.
Knowing full well that the bill would pass on a floor vote with the support of Democrats and Republicans, the Speaker refused to schedule a vote, and the legislative session expired.
Everyone thought the bill was dead, until Governor Hickenlooper called a special session of the legislature, so that this bill and 30 others would receive a fair hearing.
This time, however, the Speaker assigned the bill to the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee, where he knew it didn’t have the votes. The bill legalizing civil unions in Colorado died today, and with it the hopes of same-sex couples across the state.
When the bill died, it had the support of 62 percent of all Coloradans. 75% of independent voters supported the bill, according to the April 13 Public Policy Poll. It was also supported by conservative groups such as the Log Cabin Republicans.
Speaker McNulty and the House leadership defied the will of their own party and a majority of Coloradans by refusing to schedule a floor vote during the regular session, and by intentionally killing the bill during the special session. I don’t know what state they think they represent, but they don’t represent mine.
Detailed account on Senator Pat Steadman’s website.