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Published by Ethan Axelrod

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Published by: Ethan Axelrod on Mar 08, 2011
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First Regular SessionSixty-eighth General Assembly
LLS NO. 11-0753.01 Debbie Haskins
Senate Committees House Committees
Bill Summary
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced and doesnot reflect any amendments that may be subsequently adopted. If this billpasses third reading in the house of introduction, a bill summary that applies to the reengrossed version of this bill will be available at http://www.leg.state.co.us/billsummaries.)
A legislative declaration sets forth the intent of the generalassembly in enacting the bill.The bill creates the "Colorado Civil Union Act" (Act) to authorizeany 2 unmarried adults, regardless of gender, to enter into a civil union.Parties wanting to enter into a civil union shall apply to a county clerk andrecorder for a civil union license. Certain persons may certify a civilunion and may file the civil union certificate with the county clerk and
Aguilar, Bacon, Boyd, Carroll, Foster, Giron, Guzman, Heath, Hodge, Hudak,Jahn, Johnston, Morse, Newell, Nicholson, Shaffer B., Tochtrop, Williams S., Schwartz
Court, Duran, Fischer, Gardner D., Hamner, Hullinghorst, Jones, Kagan,Kefalas, Kerr A., Labuda, Lee, Levy, McCann, Miklosi, Pabon, Peniston, Ryden, Schafer S.,Tyler, Williams A., Wilson, Casso, Fields, Todd, Vigil
Shading denotes HOUSE amendment. Double underlining denotes SENATE amendment.
Capital letters indicate new material to be added to existing statute.Dashes through the words indicate deletions from existing statute.
recorder. A priest, minister, rabbi, or other official of a religiousinstitution or denomination or an Indian nation or tribe is not required tocertify a civil union in violation of his or her right to free exercise of religion. The criteria for a valid civil union are set forth in the bill.The executive director of the department of public health andenvironment and the state registrar of vital statistics shall issue formsnecessary to implement the Act. Each county clerk and recorder shallsubmit records of registered civil unions to the office of vital statistics.A county clerk and recorder shall collect a fee for a civil union license,which fee shall be credited to the vital statistics records cash fund. Thestate registrar of vital statistics is authorized to set and collect anadditional fee for verification of civil unions, which fee shall be creditedto the vital statistics records cash fund. A county clerk and recorder shallcollect a $20 fee to be credited to the Colorado domestic abuse programfund.The legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities that are grantedunder the law to spouses shall apply in like manner to parties to a civilunion, including the following:
Responsibility for financial support of a party to a civilunion;
Rights and abilities concerning transfer of real or personalproperty to a party in a civil union;
The ability to file a claim based on wrongful death,emotional distress, loss of consortium, dramshop, or otherlaws, whether common law or statutory, related to ordependent upon spousal status;
The ability to inherit real and personal property from aparty in a civil union under the probate code;
Priority for appointment as a conservator, guardian, orpersonal representative;
Survivor benefits under and inclusion in workers'compensation laws;
The ability to adopt a child of a party to a civil union;
The ability to insure a party to a civil union under groupbenefit plans for state employees;
The ability to designate a party in a civil union as abeneficiary under the state public employees retirementsystem;
Survivor benefits under local government firefighter andpolice pensions;
Protections and coverage under domestic abuse anddomestic violence laws;
Rights and protections under victims' compensation lawsand victims and witness protection laws;
Protections and responsibilities relating to emergency andSB11-172
nonemergency medical care and treatment and hospitalvisitation;
Rights to visit a party in a civil union in a correctionalfacility, jail, or private contract prison or in a facilityreceiving mental health treatment;
The ability to file a complaint about the care or treatmentof a party in a civil union in a nursing home;
Rights relating to declarations concerning theadministration, withholding, or withdrawing of medicaltreatment, proxy decision-makers and surrogatedecision-makers, CPR directives, or directives concerningmedical orders for scope of treatment forms with respect toa party to a civil union;
Rights concerning the disposition of the last remains of aparty to a civil union;
The right to make decisions regarding anatomical gifts;
Eligibility for family leave benefits;
Eligibility for public assistance benefits;
A privilege from providing compelled testimony against aparty in a civil union and evidentiary privileges for partiesto a civil union;
The right to apply for emergency or involuntarycommitment of a party to a civil union;
The right to claim a homestead exemption;
The ability to protect exempt property from attachment,execution, or garnishment; and
Dependent coverage under life insurance and healthinsurance policies.The same processes that are provided in law for dissolution, legalseparation, and declaration of invalidity of a marriage apply todissolution, legal separation, and declaration of invalidity of a civil union.Any person who enters into a civil union in Colorado consents to thejurisdiction of the courts of Colorado for the purpose of any actionrelating to a civil union even if one or both parties cease to reside in thestate. The courts are authorized to collect docket fees for the dissolutionof a civil union, legal separation of a civil union, and declaration of invalidity of a civil union.The Act shall not be construed to create a marriage between theparties to a civil union, create or recognize a legal status similar tomarriage, or alter the public policy of this state that recognizes only theunion of one man and one woman as a marriage. Notwithstanding anyprovision of law to the contrary, nothing in the Act shall be interpreted torequire a child placement agency to place a child for adoption with partiesto a civil union.The Act includes a reciprocity and principle of comity section thatSB11-172

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