Ferrandino and Steadman question whether civil unions will get a fair hearing in the House

Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, says that even though House Speaker
Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, has promised Ferrandino’s civil
unions bill will get a fair hearing in the House, that really depends
on what committee the controversial bill is assigned to.

The bill, though not fully drafted yet, would provide many of the same benefits that married couples receive to same-sex partners without using the religiously loaded term of marriage. Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, has questioned whether House Speaker Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, would allow the bill to reach the floor of the House if it passes the Senate, as he believes it will.

“I know there is majority support for this bill in the House. There are enough Republicans willing to support it, so that’s not a question. The question is whether the Speaker and his committee chairs will allow it to come to the House floor, and only they can give us that answer,” Steadman said.

Ferrandino agreed and said a fair hearing should correspond to a fair committee that won’t simply kill the bill.

“You know we have already heard that Speaker McNulty has said that it will get a fair hearing, so hopefully that means it goes through committee,” Ferrandino said. “Not just a kill committee, but a committee that will actually listen to the issues and give it a fair chance of being heard.

“He has already said that it will get a fair hearing and hopefully that is what he does,” Ferrandino said.

Asked if there was a particular committee where the bill should be heard, Ferrandino said he and Senate Sponsor Pat Steadman, D-Denver, are still drafting the bill and were not certain which committee was best suited for its provisions.

“I think there are several committees it could go to that would make logical sense. I think it is hard to say till we know what the final language is,” Ferrandino said.

McNulty had not returned requests for comment at the time of publishing.