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.


November 27, 2015 | NPR · An active shooting situation is unfolding at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo. Multiple police officers and civilians have been injured.

November 27, 2015 | NPR · At least four officers and an unknown number of civilians were injured in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, police say.

November 27, 2015 | NPR · The USDA recently stunned growers when it projected the smallest orange harvest for Florida in more than 50 years. The culprit: A tiny insect that’s killing off the state’s trees — and industry.

Arts & Life

Moschino via YouTube
November 27, 2015 | NPR · Barbie commercials have come a long way since the 1950s, when one ad encouraged girls to want to get married. Today’s commercials market the doll to boys and show girls dreaming about their careers.

November 27, 2015 | NPR · NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with Chicago poet Nate Marshall, who reflects on this week in Chicago and read his poem “Out South.”

November 27, 2015 | NPR · The biggest entertainment release so far in 2015 wasn’t Jurassic World or Adele’s 25 … it was a video game. Fallout 4, released earlier this month, made $750 million in 24 hours. JJ Sutherland and Chris Suellentrop of the podcast Shall We Play A Game have this review.


November 27, 2015 | NPR · In the ’70s, Richard Carpenter and his sister, Karen, made up the pop duo the Carpenters. On Dec. 5, PBS will begin airing Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters. Originally broadcast Nov. 25, 2009.

Courtesy of the artist
November 27, 2015 | NPR · Hear the Scottish queer punk band perform a moving DIY ballad about loving someone who is in love with someone else.

Provided by the author
November 27, 2015 | WXPN · The author’s new novel looks at the history of music through the life of fictional guitarist Frankie Presto.

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac