Sheena Kadi, Deputy Director
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One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, issued the following statements from Executive Director, Daniel Ramos, on the introduction of the Fairness for All Act.
“The problem is simple. In 29 states, LGBTQ people can get married on Saturday and fired on Monday. With constant attacks on LGBTQ freedom coming from the Trump Administration and Title VII protections in jeopardy at the Supreme Court, we need comprehensive, bipartisan legislation more than ever to protect LGBTQ workers from employment discrimination. In Colorado, we have demonstrated that equality is not a partisan issue. We are proud to have several conservative allies who continue to champion a more fair and just Colorado for all. While we are excited to see the bill sponsors put in the hard work of crafting a piece of legislation that demonstrates that being a person of faith and being a person who supports LGBTQ protections are not mutually exclusive, there are exemptions within the legislation that give our supporters pause. Over the next few months, we’ll be engaging with our more than 105,000 supporters across the state to discuss how this bill impacts LGBTQ Coloradans and their families. ” – Daniel Ramos, Executive Director, One Colorado.
The Fairness for All Act is based on H.R. 5, The Equality Act, and states that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit, federally funded services, refugee resettlement, or jury service is not permissible. The Fairness for All Act was introduced by Introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah).
While employers may not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity, exempt are churches, religious schools, and religious nonprofit charities that hire only members of their own faith. Employees have an expanded right that their religious beliefs and practices be reasonably accommodated, as in the proposed Workplace Religious Freedom Act, and that their privacy is reasonably accommodated in sex-specific facilities. Employees can express religious, moral, and political beliefs on the same terms as other topics allowed at work and express opinions about gender and sex-related to marriage freely outside the workplace unless doing so conflicts with their essential job function.
The Equality Act was introduced on March 13, 2019, and passed out of the House for the first time on May 17, 2019, by recorded vote of 236 – 173, with eight Republicans voting to support the bill.