Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says he is pulling lawmakers back to work to resolve a debate over civil unions that ended abruptly without a vote late Tuesday night.

Gay rights advocates say the proposal has enough support to become law, but it was blocked by stall tactics of Republican House leaders.

Democrats have been pushing for the bill that would grant gay couples legal protections similar to marriage. And Hickenlooper has indicated his support for the plan.

Hickenlooper says his call Wednesday for a special legislative session was sparked by what he called an "overwhelming need" to discuss civil unions.

Colorado's debate comes as gay rights issues take the national spotlight behind comments from President Barack Obama, who said Wednesday that gay marriage should be legal.