Gay rights, religious freedom debated at Colorado Capitol

By : Wire Report
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DENVER (AP) – There’s a growing conflict between religious groups and gay rights advocates over penalties in discrimination cases.

The issue plays out March 9 in Colorado, with Republicans proposing measures aimed at protecting individuals and religious organizations in discrimination complaints.

One bill prohibits penalties that would force someone to violate their beliefs. Another bill forbids government officials from constraining the exercise of religion.

The measures come as a suburban Denver baker fights a discrimination complaint for declining to make a cake for a gay wedding. A Washington state florist, meanwhile, is contesting a judge’s ruling against her for refusing flowers for a gay wedding.

Colorado’s proposals are expected to fail in the Democrat-led committee hearing them. But they highlight ongoing concerns from conservatives about religious freedom as gay rights gain greater acceptance.

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