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Colorado Speaker and longtime partner marry in civil ceremony

DENVER – Mark Ferrandino, Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, married his longtime partner Greg Wertsch on Saturday in a private civil ceremony at the state Capitol.

Ferrandino, the first openly gay person to serve as Speaker, was the leading sponsor of Colorado’s civil unions bill, which the House approved 39-26 on March 12. The Senate voted 21-14 on Feb. 11 to approve the bill.

Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, had pushed for a vote on civil unions and wasted no time to sign the bill into law. The civil-unions law went into effect on May 1.

Ferrandino posted pictures from the civil union ceremony on his Facebook page.

Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica Marquez, who is a lesbian, presided over the civil union ceremony. Marquez and Ferrandino are longtime friends who once played together in a church band.

This is a second go-around for the two men. They had a wedding ceremony in 2005 in front of family and friends.

Also in attendance was the couple’s young daughter, Lila, and Ferrandino said the civil union law will allow him and Wertsch to jointly adopt her.