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Colorado Rights Blog

SB16-150: Marriages By Individuals In Civil Unions

LGBT Equality | Marriage Equality
Bill Number: SB16-150
Year: 2016
ACLU Position: Support
Sponsors: D. Esgar / P. Steadman

Description:

The bill addresses issues that have arisen in Colorado regarding
marriages by individuals who are in a civil union or who entered or who
will enter into a civil union after the passage of the bill.
The bill amends the statute on prohibited marriages to disallow a
marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier civil union of
one of the parties, except a currently valid civil union between the same
2 parties. The executive director of the department of public health and
environment is directed to revise the marriage license application to
include questions regarding prior civil unions.
The bill states that the Colorado Civil Union Act (act) does not
affect a marriage legally entered into in another jurisdiction between 2
individuals who are the same sex. The bill states that a civil union license
and a civil union certificate do not constitute evidence of the parties’
intent to create a common law marriage.
Two parties who have entered into a civil union may subsequently
enter into a legally recognized marriage with each other by obtaining a
marriage license from a county clerk and recorder in the state and by
having the marriage solemnized and registered as a marriage with a
county clerk and recorder. The bill states that the effect of marrying in
that circumstance is to merge the civil union into a marriage by operation
of law.
A separate dissolution of a civil union is not required when a civil
union is merged into a marriage by operation of law. If one or both of the
parties to the marriage subsequently desire to dissolve the marriage,
legally separate, or have the marriage declared invalid, one or both of the
parties must file proceedings in accordance with the procedures specified
in the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act. Any dissolution, legal
separation, or declaration of invalidity of the marriage must be in
accordance with the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act. If a civil
union is merged into a marriage by operation of law, any calculation of
the duration of the marriage includes the time period during which the
parties were in a civil union.
The criminal statute on bigamy is amended, effective July 1, 2016,
to include a person who, while married, marries, enters into a civil union,
or cohabits in the state with another person not his her spouse and to
include a person who, while still legally in a civil union, marries, enters
into a civil union, or cohabits in the state with another person not his or
her civil union partner.


Current Status:

Governor Signed (06/08/2016)



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