Democrats Reject Freedom of Religion Bills

co-state-capitol-300Colorado Democrats rejected two proposals to shield religious organizations and individuals from discrimination complaints when gays are denied service. HB 1161 would have prevented individuals and companies, like Masterpiece Bakery in Lakewood, from becoming subject to a penalty that coerces them into doing something that conflicts with their religious beliefs. Another bill barred government officials from constraining the exercise of religion. Masterpiece Bakery refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ordered that the bakery has to make wedding cake for gay couples or they cannot make wedding cakes at all. HB 1161 would prohibit this penalty based on freedom of religion. A Democrat-led committee voted against the two GOP proposals yesterday. Opponents of the bills argued they opened the door to widespread discrimination.

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