A (Small) Step Towards Equal Rights
With the passage of Proposition 8, the defeat of Colorado’s Referendum I in 2006, and unnecessary gay marriage bans added to state constitutions throughout the union, it’s difficult to believe that we are making any progress on the civil rights battle of my generation–relationship equality.
However, here in Colorado an important step is quietly being taken. You may not have heard about it or recognized it for what it is because of its (perhaps, strategically) disguised legal jargony name of “Designated Beneficiaries.”
Designated Beneficiaries—or House Bill 1260—will be heard in the Colorado House Judiciary Committee tomorrow, Presidents’ Day. The designated beneficiary agreements this bill will create provide a new tool for estate planning, access to a low-cost and convenient method of making plans for end-of-life decisions, inheritance, and other protections related to health care and medical emergencies. The process is simple: it requires two people to fill out a form at the County Clerk & Recorder’s office and pay a small fee. If you read between the lines, you may have noticed two unspoken, but vital, points of this bill: no lawyers needed, and no marriage required.
If this bill passes, same-sex couples (and anyone who is not married, for that matter) will for the first time in Colorado be able to gain basic legal rights such as property inheritance, hospital visitation rights, and receiving health insurance benefits together.
It’s not marriage. It’s not even a domestic partnership. It’s a few basic legal rights.
New Era Colorado has an action on their website where you can send a quick pre-written letter to the committee members urging them to vote yes for the bill. Help us get this bill passed by sending the letter and asking a few friends to do the same—forward this link, post to your facebook, whatever you can do.
New Era Colorado & New Era Colorado Foundation
New Era Colorado is a non-profit organization reinventing politics for a new generation through innovative social and political action