Pro-Equality “Marlo’s Law” passes the Colorado General Assembly, now to the Governor’s Desk

Denver, CO – On April 1st, HB22-1153 “Marlo’s Law,” unanimously passed its final reading in the Colorado Senate and today made its final passage through the Colorado General Assembly.  

Formerly the “Family Affirmation Act,” the bill was amended during the April 1st Senate reading to be named in honor of Marlo, daughter of Co-Prime Sponsor and House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar and her wife, Heather Palm. The eponymous title reflects the inspiration, grit, courage, and beauty the Esgar-Palm family embodies and their efforts–in collaboration with other families across Colorado–to ensure that all parents have equal protections under state law.

One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, released the following statements:

“We are so happy to see this bill make its way to the Governor’s desk and grateful to the legislators who supported it. I want to thank House Majority Leader Esgar, her daughter Marlo, wife,  Dr. Heather Palm, and the other LGBTQ families for having the courage to be vulnerable and share their stories.  An LGBTQ couple’s decision to become parents is a beautiful one, filled with love and joy and now, there are less obstacles getting in the way of that happening. Parents are parents, not stepparents or second-parents! HB22-1153 ensures that Colorado families and parents of all types are seen and recognized on their journey to raising a family. Today is a victory for equality.” – Nadine Bridges, MSW (she/her), One Colorado Executive Director

“The Senate sponsors of the bill decided this should be named after Marlo because it is the story of our family. I was taken by surprise and truly amazed. I just can’t thank everyone enough for how special this is.” –Representative Daneya Esgar (she/her), D-Pueblo, House Majority Leader and Co-Prime Sponsor

“Marlo is the inspiration behind this bill, and the short title of the bill will be named Marlo’s Law.” –Representative Kerry Tipper (she/her), D-Jefferson, House Co-Prime Sponsor

“As a member of Colorado’s LGBTQ Caucus, I’m proud to sponsor HB22-1153 as it is one of the many necessary steps toward equality in the law. By removing barriers to becoming a legally recognized parent, we’re making a commitment to supporting all families, including LGBTQ parents.” –Senator Dominick Moreno (he/him), D-Adams, Senate Majority Leader and Co-Prime Sponsor 

“Parents are parents no matter what science helps them become parents. This bill makes common-sense changes to outdated Colorado laws to make sure that we’re aligned with the reality of how people become parents today.” –Senator Jeff Bridges (he/him), D-Arapahoe, Senate Majority Whip and Co-Prime Sponsor 

The bill updates Colorado law to ensure that all parents who conceive through assisted reproductive technology (ART), regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital status, are eligible for the same rights and legal protections. Current Colorado law was largely written prior to the invention of ART, and consequently, families formed through ART now face legal discrimination and barriers in achieving guaranteed, nationwide legal recognition. HB22-1153 creates a simplified, streamlined adoption process designed for parents who conceive through ART, and it modernizes Colorado’s outdated parentage laws so that rightful parents are not denied legal recognition, their children are not denied legal protection, and families are not denied the respect and dignity they deserve.

Co-prime sponsors of HB22-1153 in the House are Majority Leader Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo) and Representative Kerry Tipper (D-Jefferson). Co-prime sponsors in the Senate are Majority Leader Dominick Moreno (D-Adams) and Majority Whip Jeff Bridges (D-Arapahoe).