Civil unions will be reintroduced in the Colorado Legislature for a third time and most likely under the first openly gay House Speaker in the state's history.
Democrats re-took the state house in the November election for the first time after spending two years in the minority and maintained their majority in the state senate.
Earlier this year during the last legislative session, House Speaker Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch) assigned the civil unions bill to the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee during a Governor Hickenlooper-ordered special session where the bill died for the second time on a party line vote.
But when lawmakers reconvene in January, Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver), who has pushed hard for the bill's passage, is expected to lead the house.
According to a poll by Public Policy Polling in August, 57 percent of Coloradans support a bill establishing civil unions with 37 percent opposed.
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.