Focus on the Family affiliate says existing state laws already provide legal rights to same-sex couples
Colorado Springs, Colo. (March 16, 2011)— Efforts to create civil unions in Colorado are unnecessary because same-sex couples already have many of the legal rights they seek under current law, a CitizenLink analysis reveals.
CitizenLink, the family advocacy arm of Focus on the Family, compared SB 172 – the civil union bill currently in the Colorado Senate – to existing state laws that grant legal rights to same-sex couples. A summary of the findings reveals that current state law already provides same-sex couples:
• the right to be involved in medical decisions affecting partners;
• the right to adopt children jointly and establish parental rights where a child is involved;
• the ability to decide what happens when a partner dies;
• the right to visit a partner in the hospital;
• the right to inherit property from a partner after a death;
• survivors’ benefits or workers’ compensation claims;
• the right to designate a partner as beneficiary or dependent in life insurance or health policies;
• standing to sue for wrongful death of partner; and
• the right to dissolve relationship by revocation.
“At the time, gay activists praised passage of the Designated Beneficiaries Agreement Act of 2009 – the source of many of these legal rights – as a fair way to streamline protections for the loved ones of unmarried persons, homosexual or heterosexual,” said CitizenLink’s Senior Director Carrie Gordon Earll.
“That they’re now lobbying for a bill that’s redundant in existing law demonstrates that SB 172 is more about redefining marriage than hospital visitation and property ownership. Civil unions are marriage under another name. Marriage should be protected for what it gives to children – their best chance for a married mom and dad.”
Colorado voters rejected domestic partnerships in 2006 when they voted down Referendum I, a measure virtually identical to the bill being considered by the state legislature.
“Instead of continuing efforts to redefine marriage, we believe time and energy can best be spent to promote and increase awareness of the protections people already have under the existing laws,” Earll said. “After all, many of us – CitizenLink included – support the right of unmarried persons to have who they want by their bedside at the hospital. People need to know they already have that right – along with many others.”
For more information about the protections unmarried couples enjoy under the current law, visit http://www.designatedbeneficiaries.org/. To see the CitizenLink legal analysis, visit http://media.citizenlink.com/pdfs/2011-03-15-SB172.pdf.
To schedule an interview, please contact Devon Williams at Devon.Williams@fotf.org or 719-322-5484.
CitizenLink is a family advocacy organization that inspires men and women to live out biblical citizenship that transforms culture. As an affiliate of Focus on the Family, CitizenLink provides resources that equip citizens to make their voices heard on critical social policy issues involving the sanctity of human life, the preservation of religious liberties and the well-being of the family as the building block of society. Visit us online at www.CitizenLink.com.