Civil unions for gay couples advanced a Colorado House committee with one Republican joining Democrats in support of a bill that's expected to become law this year.
The measure passed the House Judiciary Committee Thursday on a 8-3 vote. The bill grants same-sex couples rights similar to marriage.
Republican Rep. Carole Murray choked up before the vote, telling her colleagues that her upbringing taught her not to judge others.
House Republicans have defeated the bill the previous two years, but it's expected to become law this year because Democrats supporting the proposal control the Legislature. Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to sign it.
About a dozen states already allow either civil unions or gay marriage.
The bill still needs to be considered by the full House.