Colorado Civil Unions Law Goes Into Effect May 1, Couples To Have Ceremonies At Midnight

Colorado Having Midnight Civil Union Ceremonies

It's been a long and winding road, but civil unions are just around the corner in Colorado.

The law goes into effect at midnight on May 1st and some couples are planning to have their civil union ceremonies right then, at midnight.

The state's largest LGBT rights group One Colorado is hosting a "Civil Soiree" to celebrate the passage of the bill, to which tickets have already sold out.

“We want to honor the hard work and tireless dedication of the thousands of One Colorado supporters who made this moment possible — and that’s what The Civil Soirée is all about!” director Brad Clark said in an email.

The Denver Office of the Clerk and Recorder will begin to issue licenses at midnight at the Webb Building, and, according to a 9News report, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock will be among those performing the ceremonies.

During his State of the State address Gov. John Hickenlooper voiced his support for the bill. "This year, let's do it. Let's pass civil unions!" Hickenlooper said.

Last year the governor called a special session to try and pass the bill, among several bills, when the clock ran out, but the bill ended up dying on a party line vote for the second year in a row.

Democrats have introduced the bill in the state Legislature for the past two years, but this year they have had the majority in both chambers and Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver), a sponsor of the bill in years past, became Colorado's first openly gay speaker of the House.

In a poll by Public Policy Polling last August, 57 percent of Coloradans support a bill establishing civil unions with 37 percent opposed.

Another battle may soon be looming ahead however because Colorado's Constitution still bans same-sex marriage.

Colorado may take another look at the Constitution however if the U.S. Supreme Court -- which took a look at California's constitutional same-sex marriage last month -- finds Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

Colorado will become the sixth state to support civil unions. Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia give marriage licenses to same-sex couples and three states have pending same-sex marriage laws.

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