‘Focus on the Family’ Files Colorado Ballot Initative To Allow Anti-Gay Discrimination Based on Religious Beliefs

On March 7, the Christianist Alliance Defense Fund sent a proposed ballot initative to he Colorado Legislative Council that would protect the rights of religious organizations or individuals to discriminate based on their beliefs, the Denver Post reports:

MinneryThe draft language states that government may not directly or indirectly burden a person or organization by withholding benefits, assessing penalties or excluding a person or group from government programs or facilities.

…The amendment representative named is Tom Minnery (pictured), senior vice president of Focus on the Family.

Minnery…denies it's spurred by the national debate over religious freedom and conscience-based exemptions to national health care mandates, such as required coverage of birth control.

LGBT rights group One Colorado is alarmed:

Focus on the Family is attacking our families, filing a ballot initiative that would legalize discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Coloradans. If passed, this initiative would allow anyone with a religious conviction to deny employment, housing, or services to LGBT people.

The initiative’s language — which focuses on “religious liberty” — is incredibly deceptive. It doesn’t make clear the widespread implications of enacting this law. Implications that don’t just impact LGBT people — but all Coloradans.

Imagine a law that allows a pharmacist to refuse to fill a birth control prescription. A law that permits an employer to refuse to hire people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. A law that gives protection to teachers who refuse to teach sex education or evolution. All for the sake of so-called religious freedom.

The deadline for objection to the petition is Monday and One Colorado says they need help raising $5,000 to fight it.


  1. Ben in Oakland says

    I have ot say I’m 100% ALL FOR IT!!!

    I can’t imagine a more graphic illustration of why these people are so dangetrous to everyone, and they’re doing us the favor of creating and paying for it!

    It’s what I have always called the straight rights argument. They’re coming after us because it’s easy. but as the rhetoric over abortion birth control planned parenthood, and all of it shows, they’re coming atfer you just as soon as they finish with us.

    You had best help us stop them, because if don’t, we won’t be there to help you.

  2. Ryaninsacto says

    Andy, I take issue with your description of this proposal. This law wouldn’t “protect the rights of religious organizations or individuals to discriminate based on their beliefs.” Since there is no such right, the aim can’t possibly be to “protect” a right. The proposal would actually *create* a right to discriminate – a “special right,” if you will.

  3. Charlie says

    Will it protect the right of Aryan Nations Churches to practice racial discrimination?

    The US Supreme Courts has struck down laws that target gay people specifically. That is why the legislation is so loosely worded.

  4. gb says

    Oh Happy Day!! There’s peace in the land! Christians want to legalize Sharia law in accordance to the Quran, joy joy peace peace!!
    …..What?…This law will be for Christians only?Sorry, my bad,no joy joy peace peace…Onward Christian soldiers….[s]

  5. jim says

    Man, the hiding behind religion bullsh*t in this country has got to STOP. Keep your religion at home and save it for Sunday. Do the freakin’ job you were hired to do on company time and keep your moral judgements to youself! OVER it.

  6. Charlie says

    The reason this is being pushed is Catholic churches don’t think they should have to ‘endorse’ contraception by providing it under their health insurance (including to non-Catholic employees). Being able to discriminate against gay people is just icing on the cake.

  7. Matt says

    So, does that mean that smart people in Colorado can deny employment, housing, and general equality to those whose “christian” views are against THEIR religion? That seems a two-way street to me. I bet they would think twice if discrimination can be easily justified under this law towards those who are advocating for it.

  8. TJ says

    MATT – I was just thinking the same thing. If my religion doesn’t recognize your religion as legitimate, I should be able to discriminate against you. If I’m Baptist, I don’t have to hire one of those bloody Papists because Catholics are not Christians. I don’t have to hire none of them Christ-killers, neither.

    Where does the crazy end? It’s like we are back in the Dark Ages.

  9. says

    This citizen’s vote is an even more outrageous violation of church and state than the marriage votes. Is there any legislative body that reviews the legality of these initiatives before they’re slapped on a ballot?

  10. says

    So, if it’s OK to discriminate on the basis of your religious beliefs, does that mean one can discriminate against those who have a religious belief? I wonder how they would like it if they were told . . . I’m sorry, I don’t hire Christians because I have a very strong moral disagreement with your religious beliefs.

    I would like to see them pass the law that allows the school children to bully other kids based on religious or moral grounds. If they can project their religious views on you, shouldn’t you have the right to confront their religious views, and their own lack of knowledge and understanding of their own religious views.

    There are so many ways to respond back to someone who says, You’re a F-g and you are going to burn in hell. You could attack them right back for everything from tattoos, jewelry, weight, clothing . . . not to mention that ignorance is a sin.

    I don’t think these religious nuts really want to go there. But then they just may be to ignorant to see beyond their own selfish, hateful, misrepresentation of their “religion”.

    The more they throw their misinterpreted religion in everyones face, the more they will drive everyone away from their churches.

  11. Oliver says

    I see religion as becoming an increasingly big problem in the USA, one that is not going away anytime soon. If you visit a church, during a mass, in Europe you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone under about 60 or 70 years old in attendance. Young people in Europe want nothing whatsoever to do with religion. (I’m generalizing, but you get my point.) Visit a church in the States and you’ll find it full of teens and twenty-somethings and all ages across the board. And those numbers are increasing in the States. They are brainwashing people at a young age. Think of all the young Christian bands and singers that exist. Fifteen years ago when I lived in the States you’d find one or two religious stations on the radio, today there are no fewer than seven or eight on the low end of the FM dial. Try counting how many of these mega-churches there are and how much money they control. It’s shocking. And the numbers are waxing, not waning. They know all too well that there is strength in numbers, which is exactly why they are (violently) opposed to any form of birth control.

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