Denver, Colo., Jan 23, 2008 / 08:40 am
A proposed Colorado law restricting religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws could threaten the Catholic character of charitable organizations that receive government funds. The Colorado Catholic Conference has heard from numerous sources pointing to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as being connected to the legislation.
The bill is so restrictive that it would forbid preferring Catholics for appointment to key leadership positions in Catholic non-profit organizations. The local archbishop has even advised the public that he will have to end Catholic Charities’ involvement with government programs if the bill passes.
The summary of Colorado legislature’s House Bill 1080(HB 1080) says that the bill “limits the applicability of the exception from compliance with employment nondiscrimination laws for religious corporations, associations, educational institutions, or societies when employing persons to provide services that are funded with government funds.”
The bill itself is short, taking up only twenty three lines. It amends the present blanket religious exemption by requiring every religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society that “accepts government funds to provide services” to comply with anti-discrimination laws. As listed in the Colorado Revised Statutes, characteristics protected by the anti-discrimination regulations include “disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, or ancestry.”