Gov. John Hickenlooper supports civil unions and celebrated yesterday's historic civil unions bill passage in the Colorado House by posting this message on Facebook:

#CivilUnions passes! Today, every Coloradan has equal rights. #coleg

Although his heart was in the right place, followers were quick to point out in replies to the post that although civil unions are a step forward towards more equal rights for same-sex couples -- it is not equal to marriage. It's certainly a worthy moment of celebration, but equal rights all Coloradans still do not have.

"Not true. Civil unions does not mean marriage equality, unfortunately," Josh Cain wrote on Hickenlooper's Facebook page.

"It's a step, and one I'm very happy for. But it's still not full rights imo," another Facebook user Brendon Shannon posted.

Another Facebook user wrote: "Not true! But we're closer! Full marriage equality is next!"

And still another: "While civil unions are a start, it is not equality. Equality is the same marriage rights for all. Let's not forget the end of the road is true equality for all, not a work around. When a gay couple can stand in front of their friends with a marriage certificate in hand then you can state equality for all."

Dozens of comments read this way, although excited about the passage Senate Bill 11, which grants same-sex couples similar rights to married couples, simultaneously letting the governor know that this is not equal rights, not yet, and that their hope is that Colorado ends its ban on gay marriage.

Colorado's measure does grant gay couples similar rights to marriage, The Associated Press reported:

Colorado's measure grants gay couples rights similar to marriage, including enhanced inheritance and parental rights. People in civil unions also would have the ability to make medical decisions for their partners.

But openly gay Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver), who has sponsored similar legislation in the past in Colorado, celebrated the bill's passage but noted, "We passed this bill because this is the best we can do."

"Civil unions are not marriage," Steadman went on to say. "They are something that are separate, and distinct, and lesser, and unequal. And that really is not good enough."

However during the debate over civil unions this year, as in years past, Republicans argued that civil unions alone were too similar to marriage and that it undermines the institution of marriage. This year, some Colorado Republicans were opposed to this bill because it does not allow for exemptions for religious groups that are opposed to civil unions.

Democrats said that allowing exemptions like that would open the door to discrimination. Under the current bill, religious instituions are not required to perform civil unions, The Associated press reports. But Republicans wanted more protections for religious businesses and adoption agencies which may want exemption.

Proponents of gay marriage are also critical of civil unions because often employers, hospitals and the public at-large do not recognize civil unions and marriage as being the same.

Colorado's Constitution still bans same-sex marriage -- in 2006 voters approved an anti-gay marriage ban -- and although legal civil unions is a step forward for LGBT rights in the state, it's not full equality, which many same-sex marriage advocates say will only come with full marriage rights for all, gay or straight.

The passage of SB-11 likely marks the end of one battle and the beginning of the next: legal gay marriage in Colorado. But it could be a tough battle, less than a handful of Republicans in the Colorado legislature supported civil unions, and it remains unclear how many would support revoking the gay marriage ban in the state.

Republican State Senator Kevin Lundberg, who stands in opposition of the civil unions bill, told 9News:

The principles of marriage and the family are so much bigger than Colorado's laws that we are no more capable of actually redefining this timeless institution than we are of changing the laws of gravity.

Colorado may take another look at their Constitution, however, if the U.S. Supreme Court -- which was urged by the Obama administration recently to strike-down California's ban on same-sex marriage -- finds Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

In an amicus brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the administration particularly said those states which allow civil unions but not same-sex marriages -- Delaware, Hawaii Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and soon, Colorado -- were violating the 14th Amendment's right to equal protection.

"The designation of marriage," wrote Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., "confers a special validation of the relationship between two individuals and conveys a message to society that domestic partnerships or civil unions cannot match."

Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that the Justice Department weighed in to “vindicate the defining constitutional ideal" of equal treatment under the law.

According to a poll by Public Policy Polling in August, 57 percent of Coloradans support a bill establishing civil unions with 37 percent opposed.

If Hickenlooper signs SB-11 into law, which he's expected to do, Colorado would become the sixth state to support civil unions. Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia give marriage licenses to same-sex couples and three states have pending same-sex marriage laws.

The post from Hickenlooper generated nearly 300 replies, 2,500 Likes and over 500 shares.

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  • Mark Ferrandino

    FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2012 file photo, Denver Democratic Rep. Mark Ferrandino leaves the House Chamber at the Capitol in Denver. Ferrandino, 35, is poised to become Colorado's next House speaker this week. He would be the first openly gay lawmaker in the state to hold that title. Democrats want to revisit proposals blocked by Republicans when they controlled the House in 2011 and 2012 _ especially civil unions for same-sex couples and a measure giving illegal immigrants who grew up in Colorado a break on tuition at state schools. Democrats could also try again on long-stalled efforts to overhaul Colorado's confusing tax rules and procedures for funding schools. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

  • Civil Union

    An overflow crowd listens to testimony in the House State Affairs Committee, where testimony was being heard, at the state Capitol in Denver on Monday, May 14, 2012. Gov. John Hickenlooper called the special session for lawmakers to vote on Civil Unions and other issues not completed when last week's general session ended. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Mark Ferrandino,

    An overflow crowd listens as House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, sponsor of the Civil Unions bill, testifies before the House State Affairs Committee at the state Capitol in Denver on Monday, May 14, 2012. Gov. John Hickenlooper called the special session for lawmakers to vote on Civil Unions and other issues not completed when last weeks general session ended. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Civil Union

    A supporter of the Civil Unions bill puts on a T-shirt in the House State Affairs Committee, where testimony was being heard at the Capitol in Denver on Monday, May 14, 2012. Gov. John Hickenlooper called the special session for lawmakers to vote on Civil Unions and other issues not completed when last weeks general session ended. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Mark Ferrandino,

    An overflow crowd listens as House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, sponsor of the Civil Unions bill, testifies before the House State Affairs Committee at the state Capitol in Denver on May 14, 2012. Gov. John Hickenlooper called the special session for lawmakers to vote on Civil Unions and other issues not completed when last weeks general session ended. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Mark Ferrandino,

    House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, sponsor of the Civil Unions bill, testifies before the House State Affairs Committee at the Capitol in Denver on Monday, May 14, 2012. Gov. John Hickenlooper called the special session for lawmakers to vote on Civil Unions and other issues not completed when last weeks general session ended. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Andy Schmidt, Nora Schmidt

    Andy Schmidt and his 10-month-old daughter Nora attend a rally supporting Civil Unions at the state Capitol in Denver on May 14, 2012. Colorado lawmakers were called back into a special session on Monday to vote on several bills including Civil Unions. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Mark Ferrandino, Nancy Todd, Cherylin Peniston, Lois Court

    House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, center seated, is surrounded by Representatives Nancy Todd, left, Cherylin Peniston, D-Brighton and Lois Court, right, D-Denver, during a special session of lawmakers at the Capitol in Denver on May 14, 2012. Gov. John Hickenlooper called the special session for lawmakers to vote on Civil Unions and other issues not completed when last weeks general session ended. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Mark Ferrandino

    House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, talks to reporters during a break in a special session of the Legislature at the Capitol in Denver on May 14, 2012. Gov. John Hickenlooper called the special session for lawmakers to vote on Civil Unions and other issues not completed when last weeks general session ended. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Frank McNulty

    House Speaker Frank McNulty, right, R-Highlands Ranch, talks to journalist during a break in the special session at the Capitol in Denver on May 14, 2012. Gov. John Hickenlooper called the special session for lawmakers to vote on Civil Unions and other issues not completed when last weeks general session ended. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Mark Ferrandino, Amy Stephens, Frank McNulty

    House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, left, D-Denver, talks to Majority Leader Amy Stephens, R-Colorado Springs and House Speaker Frank McNulty, right, R-Highlands Ranch, during a break in floor action during a special session at the Capitol in Denver on May 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Mark Ferrandino

    House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, speaks at a rally supporting Civil Unions at the Capitol in Denver on May 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Colorado Civil Unions

    Supporters of Civil Unions rally at the Capitol in Denver on Monday, May 14, 2012. Colorado lawmakers were called back into a special session on Monday to vote on several bills including Civil Unions. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Pat Steadman, Lucia Guzman, Brandon Shaffer

    Openly gay Senator Pat Steadman, right, D-Denver, embraces gay Senator Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, at a rally in support of Civil Unions at the Capitol in Denver on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. The rally pushed for the passage of a Civil Unions bill that must be debated on the House floor before it can be passed on Wednesday the final day of the Legislative session. Senate President Brandon Shaffer is pictured in the background.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Pat Steadman

    Openly gay Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, speaks at a rally supporting Civil Unions at the Capitol in Denver on May 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Pat Steadman

    Openly gay state Senator Pat Steadman, center, speaks at a rally in support of Civil Unions at the Capitol in Denver on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. The rally pushed for the passage of a Civil Unions bill that must be debated on the House floor before it can be passed on Wednesday the final day of the Legislative session. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Anna Simon, Fran Simon

    Partners Anna Simon, left, and Fran Simon embrace at a rally in support of Civil Unions at the Capitol in Denver on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. The rally pushed for the passage of a Civil Unions bill that must be debated on the House floor before it can be passed on Wednesday the final day of the Legislative session. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Colorado Civil Unions

    A crowd fills the Old Supreme Court chambers during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a bill that would allow same-sex couples rights similar to married couples in Colorado at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Pat Steadman

    Democratic Sen. Pat Steadman, a gay lawmaker from Denver, testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a bill that would allow same-sex couples rights similar to married couples in Colorado at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • John Hickenlooper

    Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper delivers his second State of the State address to a joint session of the state's lawmakers at the Capitol in Denver on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012. Hickenlooper urged lawmakers to move forward on social and financial goals this session, encouraging them to prove "cynics" wrong and show they can cooperate to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples and make the Colorado more business-friendly. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Nadia Bolz-Weber, Jeremy Shaver

    Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, left, testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a bill that would allow same-sex couples rights similar to married couples in Colorado at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Jeremy Shaver who also testified listens at right. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Jason Cobb, Pat Steadman

    Jason Cobb, left, testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a bill that would allow same-sex couples rights similar to married couples in Colorado at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. The sponsor of the bill Democratic Sen. Pat Steadman, a gay lawmaker from Denver, listens at right. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)