Civil rightsFederal agenciesHot SheetTrump

One Colorado says religious liberty task force will codify LGBTQ bias

Author: Joey Bunch - July 30, 2018 - Updated: July 31, 2018

Jeff Sessions
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions listens during a news conference at the Moakley Federal Building in Boston last Thursday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions aims to harm others using a proposed religious liberty task force, says One Colorado, the state’s largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Coloradans.

“A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom,” Sessions said a Department of Justice religious liberty summit in Washington Monday.

He referred to the Jack Phillips case in Lakewood, where a bake won his case before the U.S. Supreme Court on a narrow ruling after refusing to make a cake for a same-sex couple, citing his religion.

Daniel Ramos
Daniel Ramos (Photo courtesy of One Colorado)

Sessions is following the directions of an executive order from President Trump advising agencies to protect religious points of view.

Daniel Ramos, the executive director of One Colorado, said Sessions is trying to use the Department of Justice turn discrimination against LGBTQ Americans the law of the land.

“This task force is another attempt by this White House to codify discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans into law,” he said in a statement. “Religious freedom is one of our most important rights as Americans – which is why it is protected by the First Amendment. But that freedom doesn’t give us the right to harm others, or to discriminate. Colorado has led the way when it comes to freedom and equality for all, including LGBTQ Coloradans and their families – whether it is our comprehensive nondiscrimination laws, or bipartisan groups of state lawmakers defeating bills to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people for the past four years.”

Ramos said the task force represented “yet another effort to turn back the clock on civil rights, and it could have devastating impacts on the values of freedom and equality that we cherish here in Colorado.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.