Seven virulently anti-LGBTQ Colorado bills that seek to advance Christian Nationalism have compelled the Freedom From Religion Foundation to testify at the Statehouse.
FFRF Attorney Ryan Jayne began his testimony today, Feb. 13, to the Colorado House Committee on State, Veterans, & Veterans Affairs by explaining that all of the bills seek to legislate one particular brand of Christian dogma into law: “The bills before you today . . . are motivated purely by religious ideology. They lack a secular purpose. Therefore, they violate that core principle of American government: the separation of state and church.”
The bills range over the fevered dreamscape of Christian bigotry and would, among other things, allow the state to issue marriage licenses only after “satisfactory proof that the marriage will be between one man and one woman, regardless of judicial decisions to the contrary.” The bills at the hearing included:
• HB20-1033 Live And Let Live Act
• HB20-1144 Parent’s Bill Of Rights
• HB20-1063 Fundamental Family Rights In Colorado
• HB20-1111 Parent Authority To Require Educational Reforms
• HB20-1114 Protect Minors From Mutilation And Sterilization
• HB20-1273 Equality And Fairness In Youth Sports Act
• HB20-1272 Colorado Natural Marriage And Adoption Act
Jayne’s testimony focused on the Live and Let Live Act, which is a Project Blitz bill.
The “‘Live And Let Live Act,’ is nearly identical to model legislation known as the ‘First Amendment Defense Act,’ which is part of a deeply troubling package of model legislation known as Project Blitz,” Jayne explained. “The explicit goal of Project Blitz is to advance Christian Nationalism. Put more simply, Project Blitz seeks to favor Christians and relegate everyone else to second-class status.”
FFRF also systematically dismantled the claims that any of these bills foster religious liberty.
“HB 1033 is not about religious freedom. HB 1033 is about Christian Nationalism. It’s about religious favoritism,” Jayne stated. “This bill is fundamentally un-American and this committee should reject it.”
Jayne was scheduled to appear before the committee in person, but weather prevented the travel, stranding him in Detroit. Claudette StPierre, FFRF’s Denver chapter organizer, delivered Jayne’s testimony instead. Several other members of the chapter also testified. The full testimony can be read here.
“The Freedom From Religion Foundation has long held that government and religion are a dangerous mix,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “We even had billboards saying as much in Colorado. Today, we’re glad to bring that message back to the Legislature and hope to beat back the rising tide of Christian Nationalism we’re seeing around the country.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national freethought association dedicated to keeping state and church separate, with more than 31,000 members and several chapters all over the country, including over 1,000 members in Colorado, with chapters in Denver and Colorado Springs.