Couples get long-awaited civil union licenses

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Today marks the first day civil unions are legal in Colorado, and a handful of Mesa County couples didn’t hesitate to make it official.

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office had all hands on deck, prepared for lines of people waiting to get their license. However, just five couples showed up.

For those couples, and many others who plan to get their civil union license, the day is monumental.

“It’s just one step closer to actually being married and having the same rights as any other couple that’s in love,” said Melanie Langley, who got her civil union license with her partner Angela Crooks.

The couple previously thought they were going to have to go to Vermont to get married and were pleasantly surprised to learn civil unions would become legal in Colorado.

“All the efforts of all the people supporting it and putting all the effort into it, it actually happened,” Langley said.

For Heidi Hess and her partner Helen Bowman, the day signifies a transition of no longer having to carry around a stack of papers in each car detailing powers of attorney.

“The ability for Helen and I to take responsibility for one another, make medical decisions for one another, inherit property-- things like that -- are very important to us,” Hess said.

Obtaining a civil union license is similar to that of a marriage license, though the benefits vary. Couples interested can bring IDs to any clerk and recorder’s office and file the paperwork. The fee is $30.

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