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Civil unions bill passes in Colorado legislature

The Colorado state House has signed off on a bill legalizing civil unions for gay couples, and the bill is expected to be signed Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).

GayMarriageMap (Source: NCSL)

The state House voted 39 to 26 in favor of the bill, which the state Senate had already passed.

Colorado would become the sixth state to legalize same-sex unions but not gay marriage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ten other states have legalized gay marriage. (The Minnesota state legislature this week is considering legislation that would make it the 11th to approve gay marriage.)

A similar civil unions bill failed in Colorado last year when the GOP-controlled House blocked it. Democrats re-took the chamber in the 2012 election.

Colorado voters banned gay marriage via constitutional amendment seven years ago — a decision that would have to be overturned before it could legalize gay marriage.

Below is a recap of which states have legally recognized same-sex partnerships.

Same-sex marriage: Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.

Civil unions: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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