DENVER (AP) — A civil unions law for same-sex couples was a top promise made by Colorado Democrats who took control of the state Legislature.

It's little surprise, then, that the legal recognition for gay couples is on pace to become one of 2013's first new laws.

The Colorado Senate takes up the measure today, with passage almost certain. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper urged lawmakers last month to move quickly on civil unions.

His signature would make the change complete, seven years after voters banned gay marriage in the state constitution.