Colorado initiatives will allow discrimination against same sex couples

July 6, 2015 • 3:16 pm

July 6, 2015 | Owen Loftus | [email protected]

WASHINGTON, DC – Freedom for All Americans, the national campaign to ensure all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans are protected from discrimination, today pledged to oppose two proposed ballot initiatives designed to roll back existing protections for LGBT Coloradans.

For years, Colorado has been at the forefront of championing legislation to protect LGBT citizens from discrimination.  Colorado is currently one of only 17 states and the District of Columbia that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, a critical component when businesses are considering to move or grow their operations in a state.  Despite this, some are trying to move the state back.  Late last week, in response to the US Supreme Court’s ruling on same sex marriage, two proposed ballot initiatives were filed with the Colorado Secretary of State targeting same sex couples.  The first would redefine same sex marriages in Colorado as civil unions.  The second proposed measure would allow wedding-related businesses to refuse service to same sex couples and instead hire a contractor to serve the couple.

“Dangerous discriminatory measures like these have no place in any state’s constitution,” Matt McTighe, campaign manager for Freedom for All Americans said.  “We’ve seen in Indiana and other states how similar discriminatory measures will not only harm a state’s reputation, but can cost a state thousands of jobs and millions of dollars.”

According to The Denver Post, the backers of both initiatives will need to meet with the state’s Legislative Council to review proposed ballot language, and they will also need to collect 98,000 signatures from registered voters to make it onto the 2016 ballot.

“The fact is that 66 percent of Westerners believe we need comprehensive non-discrimination reform, and Coloradans support same sex marriage by a near 2 – 1 majority,” McTighe added.  “While I’m confident voters in the Centennial State will oppose these harmful initiatives, we’re not leaving anything to chance.   Freedom for All Americans is keeping a close eye on what is happening, and is working with our allies to ensure these dangerous initiatives are defeated.”

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign dedicated to ensuring every gay and transgender American is fully protected from discrimination under the law, no matter where they live. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses big and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

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