DENVER — An emotional Gov. John Hickenlooper said Wednesday he’s pulling Colorado lawmakers back to work to resolve a debate over civil unions that ended abruptly without a House vote a day earlier.

Hickenlooper’s announcement on the final day of the 2012 regular legislative session was sparked by what the Democratic governor called an “overwhelming need” to discuss civil unions.

Gay rights advocates said the proposal has enough support to become law but was blocked by last-minute stall tactics from GOP House leaders. Republicans said the bill came up too late for proper consideration.

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.

A start date has not been set for the session. The bill died Tuesday after Republican leaders halted floor work when Democrats tried to force a debate and a vote on the bill.

Republicans control the House 33-32, but Democrats said they had enough support to pass civil unions.