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

AP
September 16, 2014 | NPR · By 2017, the two American companies are expected to take over a job that NASA has relied upon Russia to perform: shuttling astronauts to the International Space Station.
 

Courtesy of Samaritan's Purse
September 16, 2014 | NPR · The doctor spoke of “the horror that this disease visits upon its victims” and told a joint Senate committee hearing that he favors U.S. military intervention to fight it.
 

September 16, 2014 | NPR · The number of deaths of children under 5 has dropped by 49 percent since 1990. There are many reasons why, from better vaccines and health workers to “kangaroo mother care.”
 

Arts & Life

September 16, 2014 | NPR · Robert Siegel speaks with The New Republic editor Franklin Foer about the new book Insurrections of the Mind, a collection of seminal essays from the magazine’s first 100 years.
 

AFP/Getty Images
September 16, 2014 | NPR · Lawrence Wright’s new book examines the 1978 peace deal President Carter brokered between Egypt and Israel. During the tense summit, Carter had “never been angrier,” Wright says.
 

Fox
September 16, 2014 | NPR · Fox brings two comedies back Tuesday night that are traversing the tricky matter of central romantic plots in different ways.
 

Music

September 16, 2014 | NPR · One of the important thinkers in present-day jazz is taking his cue from the 1920′s on his latest project. Pianist Jason Moran has released All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller.
 

Courtesy of the artists
September 16, 2014 | NPR · On this week’s episode, we share new music from the producer Daniel Lanois, a previously unreleased track from a Bedhead box set, solo material from Phil Selway, and recent discovery Niagara.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 16, 2014 | WXPN · The singer-songwriter returns to the show to play songs from his new two-disc retrospective.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab