The Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a civil
unions bill for homosexual men and women, despite warnings about it
not protecting people of faith.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney
Kellie Fiedorek testified before the panel at a hearing before the
Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 11, which basically
grants same-sex couples the same rights enjoyed by heterosexual
married couples. She told senators, "Religious freedom belongs to
everyone. It doesn't just belong to a handful of people."
"The government cannot limit constitutionally protected
religious liberties in a way that's foreign to our Constitution,"
she contends. "The bill … fails to ensure that those liberties will
be respected for all Colorado citizens. Look, the First Amendment's
guarantee of religious freedom -- it applies to every American. It
is not limited or confined to the four walls of a church."
The bill provides protections for clergy and religious
institutions that object to civil unions based on the Bible, but
judges and magistrates that perform marriage ceremonies will have
to do so for all couples, even if it is contrary to their religious
There is also no exemption for individuals and business owners
who reject same-gender relationships. They would be forced to
violate their conscience and religious beliefs and face possible
punishment if they do not comply.
The Denver Post reports that the Senate
Judiciary Committee approved the measure on a 3-2 party-line vote,
with both Republican senators opposed.