Erika Highstead and Sarah Musick celebrate their civil union.

Erika Highstead and Sarah Musick celebrate their civil union.

Yesterday, the first day Colorado’s civil unions law went into effect, 20 same-sex couples, their friends and relatives packed into a Manitou Springs art space for a public ceremony. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


By the power vested in us by the state of Colorado…

Some couples say they waited decades for this. It’s not the full marriage equality they wanted, but they said their “I dos,” exchanged rings and held a certificate that Colorado says is equivalent to marriage. The clergy-led ceremony was meant to be on the steps of Colorado Springs City Hall, but was moved indoors due to snow.

Sarah Musick and Erika Highstead weren’t disappointed. They’ve been together seven years, and they already considered themselves married. But Musick says the ceremony meant something.

“It was WAY more powerful than we expected it be. We had even said it was a formality, “tonight is a formality. It’s the paperwork” But it was way more than paperwork. We didn’t realize it until we were here experiencing it. Big stuff.”

They’ve lived through the nightmare of unmarried couples: One was in an intensive care unit, unconscious. The other was barred from the room. They later got legal documents to protect each other in extreme situations, but they say the civil union certificate gives them peace of mind. More so because now Highstead is pregnant.

The state legislature passed the civil unions measure in March after a divisive battle and special session last year failed to get a similar bill passed.


Comments are closed.


October 22, 2016 | NPR · “We were told we should be raising children instead,” Junko Tabei said of the all-female expedition she helped lead on Everest in 1975.

AFP/Getty Images
October 22, 2016 | NPR · Travelers had crowded onto the train because a section of the main road between Cameroon’s two largest cities had collapsed.

October 22, 2016 | NPR · Kids may be little. But the cost of paying for someone to take care of them is really big. Stressed-out parents are pinching pennies, driving for Uber and putting off saving and having more kids .

Arts & Life

Getty Images
October 22, 2016 | NPR · Ernest Hemingway’s masterful first novel came out 90 years ago today; the story of aimless American expatriates drinking, fighting and falling in and out of love is regarded as one of his best works.

October 22, 2016 | NPR · We recorded the show in Rochester, N.Y., this week, which is home to the Garth Fagan Dance company. We’ll ask acclaimed choreographer Garth Fagan three questions about really deceitful people.

October 22, 2016 | NPR · Anne Carson’s book of poems come in a clear plastic box where they ‘float,’ which is also the title of her new collection. NPR’s Scott Simon talks with the poet about her work.


October 22, 2016 | NPR · After suffering a stroke three years ago, Randy Travis had to learn to walk and talk again. This week he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, where he stood onstage and sang.

Courtesy of the artist
October 22, 2016 | NPR · The last surviving Bee Gee has released his first album in more than 30 years. In The Now is colored by the loss of Gibb’s mother and brothers, but he says it’s also about “the idea of having fun.”

Courtesy of the artist
October 21, 2016 | WXPN · The album, one of the 82-year-old’s best, was produced by his son Adam, who joins World Cafe to discuss what it’s like to work with a living legend who just happens to be your dad.

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac