Contact your State Representatives and Senators to
Vote “No” on HB 1108
The proposed “Gender Identity Expression Anti-discrimination” Colorado House Bill (HB) 1108 forces Coloradans to conform to government-mandated beliefs about human sexuality that pose a great threat to religious freedom and freedom of conscience. It is the “Colorado-version” of the federal Equality Act H.R.5.
The Catholic Church teaches that each person should be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion, as each person is made in the image of God. HB 1108 claims to ban discrimination based on “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression.” However, it actually codifies discrimination against anyone with a different belief about human sexuality and forces them to conform to government-mandated beliefs about sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression under threat of criminal and financial penalties.
While HB 1108 contains some religious institution exemption clauses, it is unclear that these clauses will truly allow religious organizations to both profess and practice their well-founded convictions on human sexuality and marriage without being prosecuted for violating the law.
For instance, religious exception to the public accommodation anti-discrimination requirement is narrow. Although it does not apply to “a church, synagogue, mosque, or other place that is principally used for religious purposes,” the exemption may be interpreted to not apply to religious-affiliated institutions like schools or hospitals.
This means that Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals, homeless shelters, adoptive care agencies and other ministries of the Church may be forced to conform to these government-mandated beliefs on gender identity and gender expression, or be prosecuted, impacting their ability to serve vulnerable populations.
Additionally, the bill affords no protections for private individuals to practice their well-founded convictions on human sexuality in the public sphere.
This ignores the 2017 US Supreme Court case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which Masterpiece owner Jack Philips was sued for politely refusing to design a wedding cake for a same sex marriage due to his religious beliefs on marriage. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission found Jack violated anti-discrimination law; however, in a 7-2 ruling, the US Supreme Court found that Colorado was wrong to punish Jack for peacefully living out his beliefs in the marketplace.
If enacted, HB 1108 gives authority to that same Colorado Civil Rights Commission to enforce this new law and decide how “religious expression” and “worship” are applied for religious institutions and private citizens, which means it actually codifies discrimination against anyone with a different belief about human sexuality.
First amendment protections for religious freedom and freedom of conscience require that the government make “no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion; or abridging the free of speech…” Colorado HB 1108 is a direct violation of institutions and private citizens’ freedom of conscience and free exercise of religion.
Please contact your House Representatives and Senators to vote “NO” on HB 1108 by calling their offices or using our portal on our “Action Alerts” page.