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

December 5, 2016 | NPR · Searching for alien life is harder than you might think, because whatever is out there might be really odd. So leading astrobiologists are meeting to advise NASA on how to go about looking for it.
 

AP
December 5, 2016 | NPR · A trial starts Monday over conditions in Alabama’s prisons. Mentally ill inmates say they’re denied basic care. Meanwhile, the Justice Department is conducting a civil rights probe into the prisons.
 

Maria Fabrizio for NPR
December 5, 2016 | NPR · Here’s how difficult it is for students with children to get access to the federal money for child care.
 

Arts & Life

December 4, 2016 | NPR · In the early 1970s surrealist icon Salvador Dalí published a lavish cookbook called Les Dîners de Gala. Decades later, the book is being republished for a new and much wider audience.
 

December 4, 2016 | NPR · Lauren Graham is the fast-talking Lorelei Gilmore, on Gilmore Girls, a role she recently reprised on Netflix. She tells NPR’s Ailsa Chang about her memoir, Talking As Fast As I Can.
 

December 4, 2016 | NPR · The Red Car, the latest novel by Marcy Dermansky, features a protagonist who’s haunted by a former boss. NPR’s Ailsa Chang speaks with Dermansky about the fantastical and dark novel.
 

Music

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
December 4, 2016 | NPR · The score for the new film, which stars Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy grappling with the death of her husband, was written by 29-year old English composer Mica Levi (a.k.a. Micachu).
 

Getty Images
December 4, 2016 | NPR · A Canadian police department jokingly said they’d punish drunk drivers by making them listen to Nickelback. That got us thinking: What song would you pick as punishment? We asked, you answered.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 4, 2016 | NPR · The Minneapolis singer and rapper spent her early life deep in the Pentecostal church — and shut away from secular music. When she moved to Houston, Texas, everything changed.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab