Governor Ritter Signs Same-Sex Benefits Bill in "the Dark of the Night"

May 22 2009, 10:03 AM

Governor Bill Ritter has a reputation for signing bills in public ceremonies, often surrounded by legislators and other notables who helped craft the new law. But that wasn't the case yesterday, as Ritter quietly signed Senate Bill 88, which extends benefits to the same-sex partners of Colorado state employees, reports the Colorado Springs Gazette. The political arm of the conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs blasted Ritter shortly after the signing "in the dark of the night," noting voters rejected the idea in 2006. State Representative Mark Ferrandino, a Denver Democrat and one of the bill's sponsors, was pleased, although he had not been notified that the governor would sign the bill, writes The Denver Post. As for the governor, his spokesman says Ritter "signs the vast majority of legislation with no fanfare." Meanwhile, Democrats have selected a lobbyist to replace state Senator Jennifer Veiga, the state's first openly gay lawmaker, who is moving with her partner to Australia. A committee picked Pat Steadman--who is also openly gay--of Mendez, Steadman & Associates, Inc., notes The Associated Press. Steadman is expected to divest his interest in the company to avoid any conflicts.