BREAKING: Civil Unions Bill Fails

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)



After over seven hours of testimony, the House Judiciary Committee has voted to postpone SB 11-172 indefinitely (kill it).

The vote was along party lines with all Dems voting in favor of the bill and all GOP voting against it.

GOP Reps. DelGrosso and Nikkel each paused for several seconds before casting their vote.

A disappointing end.

If the bill had passed this committee, it would have had to also make its way through both the Appropriations Committee and the Finance Committee. The bill was assured passage in each of the with GOP Reps. Looper and Conti having already publicly supported the bill.

Had it made it through all of that, it would have passed in the full house 35-30.

Remember the names of those who voted no.

Sonnenberg:No

Kagan:Yes

Nikkel:No

Lee:Yes

Levy:Yes

Barker:No

Gardner:No

Duran:Yes

Ryden:Yes

DelGrosso:No

Waller:No  

IndyNinja

About IndyNinja

I support People, not Parties. I support Ideas, not Ideologies. I am an independent voter.

43 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Ralphie says:

    If you want justice for all, my advice is to get your asses out there in 2012 and take back the House.

    • studmuffin says:

      I’m going to fight tooth and nail to make sure we retake the house. I’ll pay a special focus to kicking Waller the hell out of his seat.

    • dwyer says:

      Elections have consequences.  I still have not seen an analysis of why the dems lost in Colorado, let alone in the US.  Or, how they intend to win in 2012.

      The repubs were lean and hungry.  They had a strategy, money and means.  Dems had what?

      Now, I think that it wasn’t just a “social issue,” I think that there were economic factors. The catholic church did not want to have to extend benefits to civil union partners in its many non-religious enterprises.  Who else lobbied against the bill?  I would like to see the full array of non-religious groups who did not support the bill…

    • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

      She’s the closest to me of the far right freshmen. Totally beatable. But we need a candidate and one as hard working as Sara doesn’t come along just every day.  

  2. c rork says:

    I got a chance to testify and stayed all the way to the end. There whole room gasped when BJ Nikkel voted no. I believed she was the most likely to support it.

    After some of the testimony I heard, you’d have to be a heartless bastard to vote it down.

  3. Irish Patti says:

    how they could vote this way in 2011 is beyond me.  

  4. allyncooper says:

    Listened to it all day. I say let’s get it on the ballot. Expensive – yes. Should we put a price on peoples civil rights? – absolutely not.  

  5. Ray SpringfieldRay Springfield says:

    The words of Sam Cooke come to mind.It’s been a long time coming, but a change gonna come. Oh yes it will.

    It will come.

    Justice delayed, however, is justice denied.

  6. nancycronk says:

    All of the Democrats voted yes. All of the Republicans voted no. Please give each of the Democrats a contribution to their next re-election. Elections have consequences and we must elect more Dems. It’s that simple.  

  7. Civil unions/gay marriage will be legal – someday – it will HAPPEN

    And in an odd way, I do feel sorry for the ‘no-voters’ above — their names will forever be tied in history, in regard to this vote, much the same way of the politicians who voted against Civil Rights legislation – for those who voted “no” above, a terribly, ugly history awaits…

    (I gotta say that Jerry Sonnenberg is family to me and one of the top guys that mentored me when I ran for the House as a GOPer – I abstain from calling the dissenters above “bigots” because Jerry Sonnenberg is not a bigot, considering the affection and time he showed to me, despite my very pro-gay positions and religious background – but that said, he should’ve voted for civil unions and it breaks my heart that he did not)

    No matter – we will have our day (that’s a promise!)

    In liberty (with LGBTers!)

    • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

      “Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling, who paused for almost ten seconds before voting, and could barely raise his head to eye level as he casted his vote, refused to answer why he voted ‘no.’”

      Source, and video.

      Sonnenberg was welcoming to me as chair of the Ag committee when I went to the Capitol for HB 1063, and very friendly with my niece as well. He struck me as a good guy. Reading the description of his vote above breaks my heart a little bit… what’s going on here? I don’t even know what to think.

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        …and doing what he thought was in his political interests. I think it does not speak well of him that he understood the choice he was making – and then voted to continue discriminating against a group of citizens.

        • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

          I wonder if there’s more to it. Steadman says some Repubs thought the civil unions bill  was a calculated attack on their party unity and an attempt to fracture them–could he have bought that argument and felt very strongly about it? Or could he have made a deal regarding another bill? Or does McNulty have more power over him than we know?

          Sonnenberg is neither stupid nor pathologically regressive; at least, that’s my impression of him. I think he knows enough to understand that social conservatives are eventually going to be unsuccessful in denying equal rights to same sex couples. I had a lot of hope that he’d vote the right way, understanding that there’s a place for a socially moderate, fiscally conservative Republican in good ol’ purple Colorado. If that description is accurate, he knew the right thing to do, he wanted to do it, and he didn’t. I have a hard time believing he’s that smart, but not smart enough to realize his political future doesn’t depend on gay-bashing.

          • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

            U.S. House is out – those guys are staying there forever. U.S. Senate or any statewide race requires a ton of money – and that requires support from the party bigshots. The other possibility is an appointment once there’s a Republican governor – and again that requires support from the part bigshots.

            So McNulty and a couple of others could have easily told him that his political future was over if he voted yes. And it was a very credible threat because future office requires that party backing as well as votes.

            • nancycronk says:

              I haven’t seen anything redeeming about Sonnenberg at any event or hearing I’ve attended. When we were at the hearing for McKinley’s bill, he was flirting with his female witnesses. I thought he was ….. well…. I’m not going to say those words. You get the point. When I look at the guy, I just see ego. It can be a rush of power to block a bill that effects tens of thousands of Coloradans.

          • Ralphie says:

            Sponsored the Bull Semen bill.

  8. dwyer says:

    Perhaps it would be helpful if I use the term corporate catholic church.  They lobby the state legislature.  They didn’t want to have to deal with the legal implications of civil unions within their non-clerical personnel administration, as I understand it, IMHO.  If you don’t know where the power is, you will never win anything.

    Did anyone see the picture of the priest standing with little children, all saying the rosary???

  9. Majority Moderate says:

    Gardner and Waller are in very strong Republican Districts and they will not be beaten in the next election.

    Barker, on the other hand, is in a somewhat competitive district.  Dennis Apaun was the former incumbent but he was probably a little “too left” for the voters there.  If the Dems put up a reasonable and moderate candidate they might have a chance.

    • Ralphie says:

      The bill has been postponed indefinitely.

    • droll says:

      You amend the committee report in both chambers (the reports they give to the chambers). A majority is needed to pass that in both places and I believe that McNulty would have to approve it.

      But it would only mean going back to Judiciary. So we’ll only see that, or only should see that, if DelGrosso flips.

      He’s the one, btw, people. DelGrosso, who’s regrettably a party shill atm, was appointed to well known RINO Marostica’s seat. He’s the only one who wouldn’t lose a primary for the vote. Working both ways, he’s also probably the most vulnerable (on the committee) to lose to a Democrat.

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