Reader: Keep Your Religion to Yourself, It Doesn't Belong in GovernmentEXPAND
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Reader: Keep Your Religion to Yourself, It Doesn't Belong in Government

Is Colorado heading for hate-state status again?

More than twenty years after the U.S. Supreme Court overwhelmingly rejected Colorado's Amendment 2, which would have banned state and local governments from implementing laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, legislators this session tried to resurrect similar language in the so-called Live and Let Live Act.

The bill was killed in committee, but it brought back ugly memories from a time many thought had passed in this state. Here's what readers had to say about the issue.

Doug argues:

Sad that the religious fanatics keep pushing their agenda. First there was the infamous Amendment 2 that the Supreme Court rejected in a heartbeat, then the ballot attempts for the Citizenship begins at Conception movement, not to forget several tries for vouchers to religious schools.

Allyson says:

Keep your religion to yourself, it doesn't belong in our government.

Kris explains:

Not my Colorado! I will fight with every fiber of my being to go against any bill against the LGBTQ community. ... House representatives just passed a bill banning conversion therapy and I am proud to know that they did do so. 1992 was a different time back then and if conservatives can get over themselves and understand that they’re not the only people in this world and change does happen, thent would all be great. They can keep trying to find loopholes and everything to try so set their medieval agenda in stone, but we will tear them down and will we serve justice.

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A graphic of the sort used by Amendment 2 critics during the early 1990s.
A graphic of the sort used by Amendment 2 critics during the early 1990s.

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The sixteen-page Live and Let Live Act packed as many religious exemptions into one neat package to codify what proponents called “freedom of conscience,” but those in the LGBTQ communities and their allies deemed it a blatant and horrific attack on anti-discrimination laws.

“This is one of the most mean-spirited and one of the most outright discriminatory bills not just in Colorado, but in the country,” says Daniel Ramos, executive director of the LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit One Colorado. The no vote, he adds, “sent a strong, clear message that these license-to-discriminate bills have no place in our state.”

Conservatives are still fuming over the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, which stemmed from Lakewood baker Jack Phillips’s refusal in 2012 to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple. That case is still pending in the U.S. Supreme Court after the Colorado Court of Appeals sided with the gay couple. The authors of HB 1206 even cited Masterpiece as the inspiration for their bill, quoting Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s comment that “it seems to me the state has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs” and his statement that tolerance is a two-way street.

Do you think lawmakers are trying to turn back the hands of time? Post a comment or send a note to editorial@westword.com.

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