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February 24, 2009 9:05 AM

Health care benefits for same-sex partners gets initial Senate OK

The same-sex partners of state employees are entitled to health care benefits, an initial Colorado Senate vote declared.

Lynn Bartels

Sen. Jennifer Veiga, D-Denver, called it a fairness and equity issue, not a prelude to gay marriage.

Sen. Nancy Spence, R-Centennial, said she did not agree with the comments of her Republican colleagues, including one who quoted the Scriptures and linked homosexuality and murder as sins that should not be allowed by law.

But Spence noted that state workers are facing furloughs and going without raises to help close the budget gap. In light of that, she said, "I don't think this is the time" for a measure that would increase state government's health care costs.

"For gay and lesbian state employees, when is the right time?" Veiga asked.

"There is never going to be a right time to add these benefits for most of your colleagues, and you know that," she said. "If today is not the right time, then you've got to tell me when because equality is equality is equality, regardless of when we do it."

The Senate gave initial approval to Senate Bill 88. Later this week, it will take a final vote on the measure, which defines a domestic partner as "an adult over the age of 18, who is of the same gender as the employee, with whom the employee is in a committed relationship of a least one year with the intent for the relationship to last indefinitely."

Some Republican opponents said granting benefits to same-sex partners would somehow subvert the state's vote disallowing gay marriage.

Others turned to the Bible to buttress their argument:

Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, quoted the Bible during his speech against the bill. He called homosexuality an "offense to God."

"When we create laws that go against biblically what we are supposed to stand for, we are allowing to go forward a sin," Renfroe said. "We are taking sins and making them to be legally OK. That is wrong. I'm not saying this is the only sin out there. We have murder. . . . We don't make laws making murder legal."

Veiga told Renfroe she respected his beliefs but said they were not her beliefs.

"I will stand here today and tell you that God also created me, and the last time I checked, I am who I am," she said.

Meanwhile, Aurora's City Council voted to give health benefits to the domestic partners of any city employee, regardless of sexual orientation.

April M. Washington reports:

The council voted 7-3 to approve a resolution allowing the city to offer health insurance benefits to same- sex couples and heterosexual couples who attest to being in a committed relationship for six months or longer.

City officials said that extending benefits to domestic partners gives the city a competitive advantage when recruiting and hiring top-notch employees.

The passage of the resolution puts Aurora on equal footing with other cities and counties that offer domestic partnership benefits either to same-sex couples or heterosexual couples living together but who are not common law husband and wife.

"This will open the door to bringing in more qualified employees and keeping the ones we have," said Councilwoman Deborah Wallace. "It's not about making a statement for or against anyone's lifestyle."

The right thing to do? A fairness issue? Does granting health insurance to domestic partners get around the state's prohibition of gay marriage? Does the Bible have any place in this debate?


  • February 24, 2009

    9:42 AM

    Mark Wolf is a closet sadist writes:

    Ok, here we go with the usual arguments.
    I'll sum up to save everyone the trouble:

    Marriage is for creating children
    Special rights
    Prelude to gay marriage
    The Bible
    Slippery Slope
    Equal rights
    Keep religion out of marriage

    Well, I thin that sums up the talking points from both sides. What's next? Illegals? The Broncos? Music? Obama? The Smoking Ban?

  • February 24, 2009

    9:58 AM

    prima facie writes:

    Is there an actual prohibition to an employee naming any legal dependent as a beneficiary?

    Gay partners are allowed to give each other power of attorney at any time, to cover myriad situations, from the sharing of property to the silly argument of hospital visitation.

    If the state's health-insurance provisions specially preclude an unmarried domestic partner (what we used to call "shackups" in the old days), then perhaps the proposal has merit. Unless employers have been checking up on the legality of my marriage all these years, I've been free to put any name on beneficiary forms.

  • February 24, 2009

    10:19 AM

    Ben-Aware of the gay agenda. writes:

    We voted on this already. Apparently the Democratic process means nothing to some of our "representatives" in Denver. Amazing.

  • February 24, 2009

    10:35 AM

    LetsThink writes:

    We have never seen more skilled deception.

    Sneaking in the back door to gain special benefits, and an attempt to achieve normalization. Inch by inch, homosexual activists are forcing the acceptance of their lifestyle on the rest of society.

  • February 24, 2009

    11:16 AM


    Most large companies have done this decades ago. I guess the only problem is how backwards Colorado has become. What happened to make Colorado into Nebraska since 1976?

  • February 24, 2009

    11:21 AM


    Hey been-a-homophobe,

    The representatives you are talking about got a swift kick out the door for being dinosaurs. Give them a call and ask them how easy it is to get a job in industry as a reactionary with a history of bigotry toward homosexuals.

  • February 24, 2009

    11:24 AM

    Mark Wolf writes:

    To "... closet sadist",

    How about this topic?

    Should the Broncos draft an illegal immigrant who supports Barack Obama, has an iPod full of Springsteen and Seger and thinks players should be able to smoke on the sidelines?

  • February 24, 2009

    11:42 AM

    Shaggy writes:

    If anyone, regardless of legality, has an ipod full of Springsteen, should be immediately deported to club gitmo to under go water boarding treatment for the good of man kind.

    Not only do we now reward failure, we reward perversion.
    Anyone loving this socialist living so far?

  • February 24, 2009

    11:47 AM

    prima facie writes:

    Mark, can he rush the passer? If so, grab him.

  • February 24, 2009

    12:07 PM

    JW writes:

    "Inch by inch, homosexual activists are forcing the acceptance of their lifestyle on the rest of society."

    Where as you freaks who pervert Jesus' message have been given acceptance freely.

    Clearly we need to take away some of your rights, and push you into the shadows.

  • February 24, 2009

    12:10 PM

    Kevin J Jones writes:

    "But Veiga argued nothing in the bill is about marriage or gay rights."

    That's an obvious lie.

    The Colorado government is taking the wrong side in the culture wars. Even lots of Democrats are ticked that these sexual fetishists are putting their fringe issues ahead of more important things on the state agenda.

    The GOP better have the guts to overturn this policy the next time they're in the majority.

  • February 24, 2009

    12:13 PM


    I think everyone is still working on recovering from the GOP disaster to call it socialism. How about calling it Bush economic failure recovery time instead of socialism there Shaggy. I guess if you can call it socialism you should at least give credit for Bush for starting it. Go ahead and blame it on the democrats we know the GOP doesn’t have enough spine to accept their responsibility for this disaster.

  • February 24, 2009

    12:24 PM

    JW writes:

    "Even lots of Democrats are ticked that these sexual fetishists are putting their fringe issues ahead of more important things on the state agenda.

    The GOP better have the guts to overturn this policy the next time they're in the majority. "

    You have to love the irony here. Idiot.

    BTW, youre rabildy screaming to deny people health care based on your perversion of Christianity. Who do you think Jesus would deny healthcare?

  • February 24, 2009

    1:32 PM

    Anonymous writes:

    Christianity is a perversion?

  • February 24, 2009

    1:38 PM

    Ben-Fightin the gay mafia writes:

    Well, Bassack, if you don't like the Democratic process, move to California. No, wait a minute. California said "no" to the homosexual agenda there too. I guess you are just a heterophobe.

  • February 24, 2009

    1:42 PM

    JW writes:

    "Christianity is a perversion?"

    Of Jesus' actual teachings? Yes, most of the time. Witness these idiots screaming to deny people healthcare based on their judgements. It doesnt get any less "Christian" than that.

  • February 24, 2009

    2:22 PM

    Ben-Exposer of left wing intolerance and hate writes:

    "deny people healthcare based on their judgements." How are these people denied health care? lol

    They need to get an education and get a better job to pay for their own health care. Isn't that your line of thinking on other issues jw? Let it apply here to.

    "It doesnt get any less "Christian" than that." jw

    As a Christian, let me tell you to gfy.

  • February 24, 2009

    2:43 PM

    JW writes:

    "As a Christian, let me tell you to gfy."

    LOL!!! Thanks for the example Benny!

    Who would Jesus tell to GFY?

    NO ONE you idiot!

    You are just as stupid as they come.

  • February 24, 2009

    2:52 PM

    Shaggy writes:

    LoL Ben,
    JW and his ilk think gay partners are entitled to HC at the tax payers expense.
    Even though most of Americans pay for it themselves.
    I don't know of any insurance company stupid enough to deny them based on sexuality, the ACLU would be on the like flies on.........
    Is it no wonder they think everyone is entitled when Barry keeps telling them they are to get elected?
    Bottom line is they want to take little by little until they get the whole enchilada which is to force gay marriage upon society, then to force all the benefits heterosexuals enjoy on society.

  • February 24, 2009

    3:02 PM

    JW writes:

    "JW and his ilk think gay partners are entitled to HC at the tax payers expense."

    TSK TSK jackass. Yet another strawman.

    If you are going to let straight people do it, you need to let gays do it. Equality. Cant be said any simpler than that, but youre STILL not going to get it. Why? Because! Youre STUPID!

  • February 24, 2009

    3:19 PM

    JMH writes:

    "The GOP better have the guts to overturn this policy the next time they're in the majority." - Kevin Jones

    Well you will probably have a long wait there Kevin if the GOP keeps attacking everyone who isn't a white, rich, Christian who is easily led by talk radio propaganda and socail wedge issues...

    Keep making that "big tent" smaller and smaller NeoCons... it will guarantee you are out of power for decades. The GOP cares nothing for the middle class, anyone who doesn't want to shift the wealth to this country to only the top 2% or anyone who would never have been allowed on "Leave it to Beaver"...

    Safe to say the GOP is nothing but a loud, radical minority that has seen it's numbers dwindle for some time now as they cling to these stupid social wedge issues... Let me guess, if we just get rid of all the gays and give Paris Hilton a few more tax cuts, all will be well huh? LOL...

    The sad thing is you NeoCons just don't learn from your mistakes... but more and more it seems most Americans have since they have thrown the dinosaurs out...

    But don't worry... Micael Steele will be bringing "hip-hop" to the GOP. That will get the youth, middle class / poor and minority groups to come a runnin' back to the GOP... all it will take is for Sarah Palin to stand up and snap her fingers and say "no you didn't!!!" to the press for the next 4 years while Sean Hannity spins on his head and calls all the blonde bimbo's on FOXNews his "b*tches" for the GOP to get back it's street cred... LOL! Good luck with that!

  • February 24, 2009

    3:33 PM

    Shaggy writes:

    'If you are going to let straight people do it, you need to let gays do it."---W

    I believe the state is only currently providing HC to married couples, am I wrong? NO
    Are the state workers allowed to put a gf or bf on their health insurance? NO

    So it isn't an equality rights issue at all is it dumbass? NO
    Is it totally two different scenarios. YES

    If they were denying two legally married gay people the same rights as two legal hetero people I would agree with you, but you are just wrong...again...and I am right...again!

  • February 24, 2009

    3:49 PM

    stumanchu writes:

    Could we see a current display of the poll results

  • February 24, 2009

    4:39 PM

    Ben writes:

    "LOL!!! Thanks for the example Benny!
    Who would Jesus tell to GFY?" jw

    No one. I'm not Jesus. That's the point halfwit.

  • February 24, 2009

    5:20 PM

    Matt19 writes:

    Its hilarious how selfish people are. Didn't Jesus preach to help your fellow man. Yet Repubs are just about themselves... less taxes for me yet I want better education... who is gonna fix that pot hole i complain about?? how are you gonna pay teachers to educate your children... because i know that you arent gonna donate your money for it. But you complain about education and the pothole, and education.

  • February 25, 2009

    8:11 AM

    JW writes:

    "Are the state workers allowed to put a gf or bf on their health insurance? NO"

    And here is where your argument falls off track.

    The answer is YES. Committed partners of the opposite sex who have lived together long enough to be considered common law are eligible. They dont have to BE common law married though.

  • February 25, 2009

    9:09 AM

    Josephine the Plumber writes:

    No the answer is Sex change.
    They should all be given subsidies for sex change operations so they can have a legal marriage.

    i got health insurance now.

  • March 1, 2009

    8:32 AM

    The Truth Hurtz writes:

    Government run healthcare will not work on a larger scale for gays or straights. This is a useless argument concerning special rights for gays - just a prelude for the bigger clusterf**k called universal health care.

    This courtesy of your new president who defines responsible homeowners as those who are not paying their mortgages. How does he then regard those homeowners who are paying their mortgages?

    Liberalism is a cruel joke on the sheeple.

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