Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr

Forum Post: Focus On The Family Pushing ‘License To Discriminate’ Initiative In Colorado

Posted 6 years ago on March 17, 2012, 2:07 a.m. EST by JuanFenito (847)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement



Read the Rules
[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 6 years ago

Focus on the Family and the Alliance Defense Fund are apparently organizing to again pursue a constitutional amendment in Colorado that would give religious groups free reign to discriminate against LGBT people and control what kind of health benefits women have access to. The so-called “Religious Freedom Amendment” asserts that a “sincerely held religious belief” cannot be “burdened” by the government:

The right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be burdened unless the government proves it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest.

A burden includes indirect burdens such a [sic] as withholding of one or more benefits, assessing one or more penalties, exclusion from one of [sic] more government programs, and/or exclusion from one or more government facility [sic].

Aside from the offense of writing numerous typos into the Colorado constitution, the amendment not-so-subtly demands that religious groups have more power over citizens than the government by essentially giving them veto power over all policy decisions. This language could easily be construed such that the government would be permanently tethered to subsidizing religious groups, no matter how exclusive the policies of that group would be.

For example, after civil unions legislation passed in Illinois last year, the state decided to stop subsidizing Catholic Charities’ adoption services with taxpayer funding because the agencies refused to serve same-sex couples. Were this amendment to pass in Colorado, the state could never back out of such funding if organizations claimed their discrimination was based on a “sincerely held religious belief.” (Incidentally, even though Colorado’s proposed civil unions law actually would create a religious exception, Catholic Charities announced they would nevertheless shut down all services if the bill passes.)

One Colorado, the state’s LGBT advocacy organization, has put out a call to action to oppose the amendment, highlighting its many consequences for all Coloradans:

Imagine a law that allows a pharmacist to refuse to fill a birth control prescription. A law that permits an employer to refuse to hire people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. A law that gives protection to teachers who refuse to teach sex education or evolution. All for the sake of so-called religious freedom.

Conservatives failed to place a similar amendment on the ballot in 2010. Ideally, this proposal will meet the same fate.


A church midwife who attended the home birth of David Hickman, who was born two months early and lived only nine hours, said she does not believe the premature baby should have been taken to the hospital.
Lavona Keith said "it wasn't God's will for David to live."
Keith testified for the defense Friday at the trial of Dale and Shannon Hickman. The Oregon City couple are accused of second-degree manslaughter for failing to seek medical care for David, who died in 2009.
The medical examiner determined the infant died from underdeveloped lungs and staph pneumonia. Medical experts previously called by the prosecution disputed whether a staph infection played a role in the baby's death, but a second defense witness, Dr. Stanley Berry disagreed. He said David died of a staph-related blood infection that was not obvious to those who attended the home birth.
The Hickmans and Keith are members of the Followers of Christ, an Oregon City church that preaches faith healing and rejects doctors and medical care.
The Followers of Christ:
Keith, who is Shannon Hickman's aunt and one of three church midwives who attended the birth, said David "pinked right up and was vibrant and healthy." She said she had no concerns about the baby's well-being when she left him two or three hours after the birth.
Under questioning by prosecutor John Wentworth, Keith said it is for God to decide whether a baby lives or dies.
addendum - the parents were convicted