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ADL works to protect religious freedom, fair treatment for all at state capitol

  • April 30, 2015


As the 2015 Colorado legislative session enters its final days, the Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region can count a number of victories. Among those victories is that ADL helped stop the advance of a handful of bills that would have threatened religious freedom, severely limited women’s access to reproductive health care and permitted tax-payer support for private, religious education.


The Mountain States Region actively opposed seven bills during the 2015 legislative session and provided testimony on all of those bills. Two of the bills would have given individuals and businesses the right-to-discriminate and deny services to others and to claim their religious beliefs allow them to refuse to follow laws with which they disagree. Two of the bills would have inserted a religious definition of life in state law, severely impacting women’s access to reproductive health care. One of the bills would have created a waiting period for a woman to access abortion services and inserted the government into a woman’s private decision making. Another bill would have required public universities to recognize and provide support to student organizations that discriminate based on religion and other personal characteristics. And, the seventh bill would have established public support for private education, including private religious instruction, by creating a tax credit program that was essentially a back-door to school vouchers.


ADL actively supported and provided testimony on one bill that was defeated. The proposed legislation would have prohibited conversion therapy in Colorado, protecting young people and their families from dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing a young person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression.


In addition, ADL worked with a bi-partisan group of House and Senate lawmakers in crafting a joint resolution in remembrance of the Holocaust. The joint resolution was introduced and unanimously passed on April 16 – Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. The resolution declared April 12-April 19, 2015 as Holocaust Awareness Week and called upon all Coloradans to teach and remember the great injustices of the past and to commit to prevent similar atrocities in the future.


The 2015 legislative session provided a number of engagement opportunities for the Mountain States Region’s Legislative Liaisons and Board members. Legislative Liaisons are volunteers who work with ADL to develop relationships with lawmakers, monitor legislation, and participate in action alerts on ADL’s priority bills.  Five ADL Board members testified on bills and several Legislative Liaisons monitored a handful of additional bills. Legislative Liaisons and Board members also had three opportunities to tour the Capitol and learn more about the legislative process. And, before the legislative session began, more than 20 Board members and Legislative Liaisons gathered for a preview of the 2015 session that included presentations from a current and past lawmaker.


If you would like to participate as a Legislative Liaison during the 2016 Colorado General Assembly, please contact Jeremy Shaver, Assistant Director, at