Gov. Roy Romer vetoed a bill banning same-sex marriages Monday, saying such unions may deserve legal recognition.
“It is one thing to believe, as I do, that marriage is the union of a man and a woman,” said Romer, a Democrat. “It is quite another to believe that committed same-sex relationships do not exist and should not be recognized by society.”
The bill is similar to legislation in other states introduced in response to a court case in Hawaii that could result in a ruling legalizing gay marriages.
Since states customarily recognize each other’s statutes, such a ruling in Hawaii could force the other 49 states to grant homosexuals in same-sex unions the same benefits afforded to married heterosexuals.
Romer, a three-term governor who is barred by law from serving another term, called the legislation mean-spirited and unnecessary.
“Let’s be honest. Some support this bill because it is a way to single out and condemn the lifestyle of gay and lesbian people,” he said.