Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota — the list of states making progress on relationship recognition for same-sex couples seems to be getting longer every day. Also on this illustrious list is the state of Colorado, which has been experiencing a flurry of activity lately.
Last week, the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee advanced SB 11, a bill that would establish civil unions for same-sex couples, on a 3-2 vote. SB 11 was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee today, and it moves next to the full Senate. The Denver Post says the civil unions bill, which would confer many, but not all, of the rights and responsibilites of marriage, is expected to pass. Stay tuned!
However, Zoe Mandelski thinks her state can do better than separate-and-unequal civil unions. The 17-year-old high-school senior believes all Coloradans, regardless of sexual orientation, deserve the freedom to marry, so she drafted a ballot proposal for her civics class project that would overturn the state’s 2006 marriage discrimination amendment by making the following change to the Colorado constitution:
Be it enacted by the voters of the State of Colorado: Article II Section 31 of the Constitution of the State of Colorado is amended to read: A union of one man and one woman, one man and one man, and one woman and woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.
According to the Denver Post, Mandelski’s proposal will receive its first hearing by Legislative Council staff on February 11 at the state capitol building.
Mandelski intends to continue work on her proposal for as long as it survives, even if it means working remotely from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she’ll be studying in the fall. She remarked to the Post about the well-documented generation gap on the marriage equality issue:
It seems like a nonissue to me, but I guess that’s my generation’s view on it. I do personally support gay marriage, but my parents don’t.
Remarkable, right? Equality is coming, folks. Thanks to people like Zoe Mandelski, the Millennial generation will make it so.