CO Civil Unions To Be Signed Into Law Thursday

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Civil unions for gay couples in Colorado will be signed into law less than a year after the proposal was blocked in the House by Republicans who opposed it.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper plans to sign the bill Thursday afternoon at a ceremony near the state Capitol.

Civil unions grant gay couples rights similar to marriage.

It's a big turnaround in a state where voters banned gay marriage in 2006.

Colorado will join eight states that have civil unions or similar laws. Nine states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.

Last May, Democrats said they had enough votes to pass the bill. But Republicans who controlled the House by one vote prevented debate on the bill.

Democrats took control of the House in November and retained the Senate.