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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
April 20, 2007

Colorado senate passes LGBT equality
measure

Denver, Colo.--The state senate on April 16 approved a measure that would extend employment antidiscrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and religion.

The measure includes transgendered people in the protections without using the term “gender identity.”

Instead, it defines sexual orientation as “a person’s actual or perceived orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or transgender status.”

The bill also offers protections based on religion for the first time.

The senate approved the measure 2015, with the vote falling strictly along party lines.

If the partisan support for the measure holds, it should have an easier time in the House of Representatives, where Democrats lead Republicans 39-26.

A similar measure has been passed by the legislature before only to be vetoed by then-Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican. However, current Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat, is expected to approve the bill.

According to Rocky Mountain News, Republican seantors said that LGBT people should not be granted protected-class status because the criteria include “demonstrating a history of societal oppression and encountering barriers to economic, educational and cultural opportunities based on race, color, gender or national origin.”

“Members, you cannot say that about this group seeking special protection in the state of Colorado,” said State Sen. Greg Brophy. “Members of the group seeking special protection with this bill enjoy well above-average economic success.”

Sen. Jennifer Veiga, the bill’s openly lesbian sponsor, called Brophy’s assertions absurd.

“We know repeatedly, from people who have testified, that these claims are rampant and they are increasing,” she said.

In 2005, over 300 people went to the Center for Gay and Lesbian Rights with complaints of workplace discrimination, according to Veiga.

 

 

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