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.

DOWNLOAD

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.

News

Getty Images
October 1, 2014 | NPR · Mohamed Osman Mohamud was convicted in January of 2013, but his sentencing was delayed after the government revealed it had attained evidence from secret NSA electronic surveillance.
 

AP
October 1, 2014 | NPR · The picture shows the walrus huddled up on an Alaskan beach. Usually, they would spread out on sea ice. But this year, it’s all melted.
 

Getty Images
October 1, 2014 | NPR · Diagnosing and treating Ebola isn’t so hard, health workers say; hospitals across the U.S. should be ready. But initial symptoms, such as fever and headache, can look the same as other illnesses.
 

Arts & Life

October 1, 2014 | NPR · The author is topping her big year with The Butter, a new sister site to The Toast that she’ll helm starting in mid-October. Also: Kei Miller wins the Forward Prize, and Wolf Hall goes Broadway.
 

AP
October 1, 2014 | NPR · “We’re giving those 33 million Hispanics in the U.S. … a point where they can actually identify themselves,” says Demian Bichir, a star of the cross-border crime drama.
 

September 30, 2014 | NPR · Tess Taylor reviews Christian Wiman’s new collection of poems, “Once in the West.”
 

Music

Academy of Ancient Music
October 1, 2014 | WQXR · Stream a live Carnegie Hall concert of Bach’s four orchestral suites, played by the superb Academy of Ancient Music, led by Richard Egarr.
 

Courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
October 1, 2014 | NPR · Hear a live performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under their electrifying conductor Riccardo Muti, in a thrilling program of Debussy, Mendelssohn and Scriabin.
 

Kristine Hoebermann
October 1, 2014 | WQXR · Hear the beloved American baritone sing a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon in this recital with pianist Wolfram Rieger.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab