This weekend, there are likely some same-sex couples who are celebrating. Beginning on Wednesday morning, the couples could make their unions official in the eyes of the state government. Civil unions for same-sex as well as heterosexual couples are now legal in the state, and the change didn’t go unnoticed — or uncelebrated — by hundreds of couples this week.
CBS News reports that before 3 AM at the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office on Wednesday, 130 couples were already lined up to get their civil union licenses. Many more were to follow in the days after, in Denver and throughout the state. This has been an anticipated legislative change in Colorado, since Gov. Hickenlooper approved the same-sex union measure in March.
Despite the evident excitement at the courthouses regarding the legalization of same-sex civil unions in Colorado, there are some who are still fighting for further change. They are not satisfied with limiting same-sex couples to only civil unions; they believe that marriage should be an opportunity for all to choose.
Still, the rights granted with the civil unions are valuable and part of why many Colorado couples chose to get their licenses this week. The legal rights provided to the same-sex couples include tax benefits, the transfer of property, the ability to make medical decisions for their partners and more.
Because a civil union comes with all of the above-mentioned rights such as transfer of property, for example, it then becomes important for couples to think about pre-commitment contracts before making their unions official. Just like a prenuptial agreement, a pre-commitment agreement could outline how property division and other sensitive matters would go if the couple chose to end their civil union.
With the new same-sex civil union legislation now officially enacted, there is sure to more news regarding the impactful family law matter. We will post updates when there are noteworthy developments.
Source: CBS News, “Colorado ushers in same-sex marriage with midnight unions,” May 1, 2013