Public ceremony scheduled for Gov. Hickenlooper to sign Civil Unions bill

Pen makes signatureAt long last, civil unions are going to be signed into law. On Thursday, March 21 2013, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will sign the bill making civil unions legal in the state of Colorado. The 39-26 vote was a cause for rejoicing for state Democrats, and a source of contention for Republicans. The primary reason for the opposition’s stance centers on how civil unions and religion interact. Which raises the question; what ever happened to separation of church and state in politics?

Republicans protested the bill because it does not offer religious exemptions which they say will cause the issue to wind up in court. Still, Republicans who came out in favor of the bill say voting in favor was not just good politics, but good for people.

“What this bill is about is personal freedom and individual liberties,” said Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, one of two Republicans supporting Senate Bill 11. “This is a good conservative bill.”

The long fought battle is particularly sweet for two lawmakers; State Senator Pat Steadman and Speaker of the State House of Representatives Mark Ferrandino. The two have been on the front lines of the issue since the beginning, and both felt the sting of defeat at the end of session last year. In that vote, then House Speaker Frank McNulty mired the bill in bureaucratic red tape causing it to die before a complete vote could be held. But this time, it was Democrats who had the last word, inspiring Senator Steadman to take to the Twitter-sphere with a poem he wrote in honor of the momentous occasion.

“11 is a prime number. Eleven is a lovely word.  It’s binary; a pair of ones. It’s two like things, bound together, to make a whole of ones.”

So, when Governor Hickenlooper puts pen to paper this week, he will not only be changing the lives of countless men and women in this state. He will also be striking a blow for all those who fought so hard on the front lines for equality under the law for all Coloradans  Representative Ferrandino summed it up best when asked what the vote meant to the state;

“This bill is about three simple things,” Ferrandino said. “It’s about love, it’s about family, and it’s about equality under the law.”

Governor Hickenlooper is slated to sign the bill this Thursday, March 21st in a public ceremony to be held at the Historic Colorado Center. Scheduled for 3:00pm, we will keep you posted as to any updates in this auspicious event.

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Colorado Governor Hickenlooper and wife announce split

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and his wife, Helen Thorpe

As reported by Denver publication Westword, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and his wife, journalist Helen Thorpe have announced their separation. In a statement issued by the Governor’s office, the couple claim the split is amicable.

“After years of marriage that have added tremendous love and depth to both of our lives, we have decided to separate. This decision is mutual and amicable. We continue to have the utmost respect for each other, and we remain close friends. We intend to continue functioning as a family that spends a great deal of time together. In fact, we will embark on our annual family vacation together this week, share meals often, and plan to spend holidays together. You can continue to expect to see both of us out in the community — sometimes together, sometimes solo. Please feel free to include both of us in social gatherings as we will not find it awkward.

Our chief concern right now is the well-being of our son, so we ask everyone to respect our privacy as we make this transition. While public office made this announcement necessary, it will be the only statement we make on this private matter. We want to thank our friends, family, and community for all of the support you have shown us as a couple and as individuals, and for the support we know you will provide as we move forward.”

The governor’s office took the statement a step further, adding the following to potentially squelch any further speculation as to the reasons for the marriage ending.

Both the Governor and Ms. Thorpe want the public to know that neither has had an affair, that they did seek extended counseling, and that this decision is unrelated to the difficult events Colorado has faced this summer. While the Governor will be moving into the Governor’s Mansion, he will also continue to spend time with his son at their private home.

More to follow on this story as it develops.