Reported Monday, Colorado passed a statute that could allow same-sex married couples who are legally recognized in other states, to file state joint tax returns depending on their federal tax filing status, but that won’t happen until Gov. John Hickenlooper signs the bill.
Feb. 17, house members passed Senate Bill 14-019 with 37 votes in favor and 26 opposed.
But some Republicans were adamant that this bill not pass because they say it weakens the sanctity of marriage in the Colorado constitution.
Sen. Pat Harvey said, this new bill takes marriage out of the state law. Adding, “this is a direct attack on the institution of marriage.”
The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Pat Steadman disagreed. Steadman said, the bill has nothing to do with attacking marriage, rather it brings the state into compliance with federal law.
In 2006 Colorado passed a ban against same-sex marriage, but in 2013 passed a new civil-unions bill allowing the union of same-sex couples to be afforded some benefits. But will Colorado sustain a ban against same-sex marriage? The 10th Circuit Court will soon hear an appeal that might overturn the ban.
But not all Colorado's neighboring states in the 10th circuit jurisdiction agree on voiding same-sex prohibition, and some still blatantly adopt laws to discriminate. It was reported recently that Kansas passed a bill for discrimination by allowing businesses to refuse their services to same-sex couples.
As of December 2013, under the 10th circuit, New Mexico's supreme court ruled to allow same-sex couples to marry. While Wyoming's state legislature has been working hard to allow same-sex marriage, but nothing has passed as of yet. Recently federal judges in Utah and Oklahoma ruled their same-sex marriage bans were unconstitutional, but they have been appealed. So where will Colorado stand?
When one of the nation's most conservative appeals court like Virginia ruled last week to overturn its anti-same-sex marriage laws, many other states also began to re-examine their current state constitutions. Is Colorado on the same track with the introduction of Senate Bill 019?
Some might think so.
"Republicans tried to work in a bipartisan fashion to align Colorado's tax code with federal law, while still respecting the Colorado constitution, but were unsuccessful," said Representative Kevin Priola (R-Henderson).