DENVER - A senate panel advanced a bill that would allow same-sex couples who marry in other states to file their Colorado tax returns jointly as married couples.
The 3-2 vote fell strictly along party lines, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposing the bill.
The bill now heads to the full senate for a vote.
The one person testifying against was from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious group that also opposed civil unions.
They say this change in law is "subterfuge" of the gay marriage ban that voters put in Colorado's constitution.
Same-sex couples who got married will have to file as married on their federal tax returns. The state revenue department plans to let them file jointly with or without this bill.
Opponents say the bill is really about legitimizing gay marriage.
"They are going through and striking particular language that has to do with husbands and wives. It seems to be another attack on the institution of marriage," Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City) said.
Democratic State Senator Pat Steadman, the bill's sponser, says his real goal is to clean up state tax law to match the policy.
"I've been reading emails from folks that are alleging this bill violates our state's constitutional prohibition against marriage equality. I actually think this bill is bringing our statutes in align with that by taking the concept of marriage out of the tax code," Steadman said.
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