While the Maryland bill for full marriage equality and its support from prominent Catholics is garnering the headlines, I am increasingly interested in the parallel progress towards civil unions in Colorado. On the face of it, the bill should struggle. Democrats control the state Senate, but the GOP has control of the lower house, and the state is a well known base for the religious right, who have mounted strong opposition. The bill is going nowhere without Republican support and religious support – but this support is now emerging.
The first step in the bill’s journey through the legislative process was secured in a Senate committee, with the help of a Republican, Sen. Ellen Roberts, who did so on eminently conservative grounds:
A Republican lawmaker in Colorado bucked her party’s stance on Monday and cast the key vote to advance a bill that would bestow the rights of marriage on unmarried same sex partners.
Speaking to The Colorado Independent, state Sen. Ellen Roberts (R) said it must have been her “libertarian streak” that convinced her to do it.
“I don’t think we should be in the business of legislating religion and morality,” she reportedly added.