A proposal to grant gay couples rights similar to marriage is expected to pass its first vote from Colorado lawmakers.
A Senate committee will hear testimony Wednesday from gay couples and supporters of traditional marriage on a civil unions bill that Democrats are expected to send to the governor's desk this legislative session.
Democrats tried unsuccessfully the last two years to pass civil unions, but House Republicans have defeated the measure. The bill is expected to become law this year because Democrats control both chambers of the legislature and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper supports the measure.
More than a dozen states allow either civil unions or same-sex marriage.