< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Rights for Same Sex Couples on November Ballot?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Rights for Same Sex Couples on November Ballot?

The Rocky Mountain News has a story about a plan by two Colorado Democratic lawmakers who want to put a referendum on the November ballot which would extend some legal rights to same sex couples. I'm not sure that enough Democrats will be willing to take the political risk of voting for this referendum, but it is an important issue that needs to be put to the voters. From the article:

Two Democratic lawmakers want voters to decide in November whether to legalize domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
Supporters say the measure - which was denounced by some Republicans - is intended to "remedy a number of legal disparities" between married and same-sex couples, including the right to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner...The proposal will be introduced as a referendum, which means if the Democratic-controlled legislature approves, the measure will be on the November ballot. Republican Gov. Bill Owens has no veto power over referred measures.

As the article points out, under the proposal, same-sex couples would enjoy:

• Visitation and the right to be involved in the care of hospital patients and nursing home residents;
• Protection of property rights, inheritance and pension benefits;
• The right to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner;
• Access to a partner's health-care benefits;
• Access to family-leave benefits to care for an ill partner;
• The right to take possession of a deceased partner's remains.

The proposal seems reasonable to me, but I would welcome comments that argue why this would be an unreasonable measure.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes


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