ADL mobilizes to save the Colorado Civil Rights Division

  • April 16, 2018

ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott L. Levin testifies at a committee hearing on the reauthorization of the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

As the 2018 Colorado legislative session enters its final month, the Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region is working with lawmakers, coalition partners and supporters to preserve the Colorado Civil Rights Division. A bill to reauthorize the agency that is responsible for enforcing the state’s anti-discrimination laws is making its way through the Colorado Senate despite attempts to withhold funding and reshape the agency.


The Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing this afternoon on House Bill 18-1256, which reauthorizes the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD). Every 9 years, certain regulatory agencies in Colorado undergo a “sunset” review. This is a standard process to review the functions of a particular state agency in order to make sure it is operating effectively and efficiently. Unfortunately, some lawmakers are using this year’s sunset review to undermine the Division and strip away its funding.


The CCRD protects all Coloradans from discrimination in housing, employment and public spaces. The CCRD speaks to Colorado’s long, proud history of standing up for civil rights. The Colorado General Assembly passed the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act in 1951 — 13 years before the Civil Rights Act was passed — and just a few years later, established the Colorado Civil Rights Division and Civil Rights Commission. The Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region worked hard to help pass the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act and establish the CCRD.


In addition to supporting strong civil rights protections for all Coloradans, the Mountain States Region has been active at the Colorado Capitol this year to protect religious freedom and women’s access to reproductive health care. Earlier this session, ADL Mountain States Board member Andrea Shpall testified against a bill that would have prohibited all abortions in Colorado, including in cases of rape and incest. ADL Mountain States Board member Stuart Pack testified against a bill that would have granted a religious exemption to any individual, business or state employee in Colorado to discriminate against any LGBTQ person by claiming their religious beliefs give them the right to do so. Both bills were defeated in committee.


On Friday, lawmakers in the Colorado House of Representatives will present a resolution to remember those who perished in the Holocaust. The ADL Mountain States Region helped prepare the resolution. Members of the public are invited to the House gallery to observe the presentation that will likely take place around 9:30 a.m. Friday. Those who are unable to attend may watch online by following this link to a live video stream from the House chamber.