Rep. B.J. NikkelOne Colorado, a new statewide LGBT non-profit, invited a bi-partisan group of politicos to lunch yesterday, attracting a surprising number of Republicans, according to the Denver Post:

Want proof that the times they are a changin’? A lawmaker who once worked for former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave attended a gay-rights luncheon today.

Rep. B.J. Nikkel (pictured), of Loveland, was among the nine or so Republican lawmakers at the One Colorado event. She was Musgrave’s district director from 2003 to 2006.

Also present was GOP Sen. Shawn Mitchell of Broomfield, whose 2003 bill limiting schools’ abilities to teach about all forms of human sexuality triggered Tim Gill, a gay multi-millionaire, to open his wallet to help Democrats win control of the legislature in 2004.

Rep. Mark Ferrandino, a Democrat and an openly gay lawmaker, was stunned when he looked around the room and saw the number of Republican lawmakers. Several have long backed gay issues, but he was surprised to see others.

Former U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) long championed the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have banned marriage equality laws across the U.S.  The legislation was defeated twice, and Musgrave was unseated in 2008 by Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.).

Photo:  Denver Post