- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2012

DENVER (AP) — An emotional Gov. John Hickenlooper said Wednesday that he is pulling Colorado lawmakers back to pass a gay civil unions bill after the debate ended abruptly without a House vote a day earlier.

Mr. Hickenlooper’s announcement on the final day of the 2012 regular legislative session was sparked by what the Democratic governor called an “overwhelming need” to discuss a civil unions bill that would grant gay couples legal protections similar to marriage.

Republicans ended the debate Tuesday, saying the bill came up too late in the session for proper consideration.

Mr. Hickenlooper, who backs the proposal, choked up and cited a call Tuesday night from someone he knew who “didn’t have the same rights as everyone else.” He said the caller asked, “If not now, when?”

Mr. Hickenlooper said he’d provide more details regarding the special session agenda Thursday, but it could include other bills that also died because they were not voted on before a Tuesday deadline.

Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty would not say whether civil unions would get a vote in the House if it reaches the chamber, raising questions about whether the outcome of the bill would be any different in a special session.

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