Senators continued their debate on SB12-002, the civil union bill, into its third reading as male Republicans tried one more time to convince their colleagues to oppose the bill. The bill finally passed with debate that included biblical exegesis, prayers to Jesus, and Founding Father quotations. The Republican women senators joined Democrats in support of the bill.
Senator Kevin Lundberg, R-NoCO, summed up the long debate as a poignant example of "two extremely different world views competing for dominance in our nation." Senator Pat Steadman, bill sponsor, countered that the bill modestly modifies existing statutes to accommmodate civil unions. Lundberg replied that the bill affects 27 different areas of law and it's a radical change to the construct of marriage and family.
Other senators let loose. Senator Kent Lambert, R-COSpgs, used a camel and duck metaphor. "You can't take a camel and say it's a duck," he said. "Marriage is the same way. Our society knows what marriage is. Using government to change the definition of marriage is stretching the point."
Senator Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, counseled, "if you don't want a civil union, then you don't need to have one."
"Jesus loves all of us and only wants the best for us because Jesus loves you. And I would ask that you vote NO on SB12-002," said Senator Scott Renfroe, R-Longmont. His vote was based on "religion and morality," citing God, George Washington, and John Adams. Genesis says "it's not good for man to be alone...a man will leave his father and mother to join with his wife. That's traditional marriage - one man and one woman. The constitution is made only for a moral people, and we're changing that today," said Renfroe.
Senator Joyce Foster, D-Denver, quoted another Genesis passage: "We are created in God's image. We are all children of God and created in His image. He (or Her) lifts us up." She cited her idol, Anne Frank, who believed "there is goodness in everybody. We honored Holocaust victims last week - Jews, gays, disabled. They were victims."
Senator Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, hoped that SB-002 would rectify the 1992 election rejecting same sex unions. "That election stopped me in my tracks," said Roberts. "A person is a person is a person. I'm not Shakespeare. I don't have 'gaydar," and I don't really know what that means. Giving gays legal protections with civil unions is like a ladder without the first few steps. This bill clearly says that civil unions are not marriage. But this bill will restore some ot the collective soul we lost in 1992." PEN CCW