Despite state Senator Mark Scheffel’s concerns that it’s an “assault on the institution of marriage and family,” a bill to allow civil unions between gays and lesbians passed out of a Senate committee Monday (Colorado Springs Gazette). Durango Republican Ellen Roberts departed from the party line and voted with the Senate Judiciary Committee’s five Democrats, sending the bill to another committee for further hearing (Denver Post). “What we have here is the opportunity to create stable families,” says Alexander Harnaday of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay and lesbian GOP advocacy group (Colorado Independent).

Still, Senator Kevin Lundberg, a Berthoud Republican, says he doesn’t see the difference between civil unions and outright marriage: “You have a very, very hard case that this is not truly in violation of the Colorado Constitution that recognizes marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” Among its provisions, the bill would enhance inheritance rights, making it easier for couples to list each other as dependents on health insurance (Associated Press).