Denver sees spike in civil unions, marriages during month of May

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DENVER — Those who work at the Denver clerk and recorder’s office have issued hundreds of civil union and marriage licenses to start out May’s bustling month of weddings.

According to the Office of the Clerk and Recorder, 255 civil union licenses were issued in the first two weeks of the Colorado Civil Union Act, including 114 that were issued solely during the midnight civil unions event held on May 1.

The statewide advocacy group One Colorado hosted the festivities, and the Denver clerk’s office remained open until 3 a.m. to issue civil union licenses to couples eager to take advantage of their rights under the new law.

“We were pleased at the way the event worked out for the couples and for our office. This event was very much in the tradition of the Valentine’s Day celebration we’ve had each of the last six years for our marriage license applicants,” said Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said he was honored to be part of the landmark event.

“I’ve been a part of the effort to legalize civil unions in Colorado now for several years. I feel a tremendous amount of pride for the people of Denver to work with their legislators to finally pass this piece of legislation to allow people to love and live as they so choose,” Hancock said.

Colorado’s civil unions law allows unmarried couples, both gay and heterosexual, the ability to form civil unions and get rights similar to those of married couples. They include transferring property, making medical decisions, adopting children and qualifying for health insurance and survivor benefits.

During the same two-week period that the civil union licenses were issued, Denver also issued 245 marriage licenses, for a total of 500 licensed couples.

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