Forgive gay and lesbian Coloradans if they aren’t jumping for joy at the recent news that their state Senate approved a bill that would bar workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Colorado lawmakers, led by Democrat state Senator Jen Veiga, have passed similar bills in the last two years but both were vetoed by former Republican Governor Bill Owens.
It’s more likely than ever, however, that the state’s GLBT community will be able to celebrate when all is said and done, as Democrats not only control the Colorado’s House and Senate, but the governor’s mansion as well.
Introduced by Veiga, the only open lesbian in the Legislature, Senate Bill 25 would make it illegal for the state’s employers to hire, fire, promote or compensate workers based on sexual orientation or religion.
“People should be judged on the basis of their employment absolutely, and not on the basis of their gay and lesbian status,” Veiga told her fellow legislators on Monday, according to a report from the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Although Democrats seemingly agreed, Republicans by and large did not.
Senator Greg Brophy asserted that gays and lesbians do not meet the definition of a protected class, while Senator Tom Wiens offered a slew of amendments to the bill regarding religious expression.
All were defeated on party-line votes, while Veiga’s original bill passed by a vote of 20 to 15.
The measure must pass another vote in the state Senate before it can be sent to the House and eventually Democratic Governor Bill Ritter for consideration.
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