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Colorado Governor Signs Civil Unions Into Law

Gay couples in Colorado can soon enter into civil unions.

There were cheers as Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 11 at the History Colorado Center near the Capitol.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

"Civil unions grant gay couples rights similar to marriage, including enhanced inheritance and parental rights. People in civil unions also would have the ability to make medical decisions for their partners.

"Republicans opposed the bill, saying they would've liked to see religious exemptions to provide legal protections for those opposed to civil unions."

When the law takes effect May 1, Colorado will join eight states that have civil unions. Nine others and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.

The approval of civil unions is a dramatic turnaround for a state where voters in 2006 banned gay marriage. The AP reports that the 2006 vote is what makes civil unions the only option for now for gay couples Colorado. But that could change with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the coming months.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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