Speaking at Colorado Christian University this morning, State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) promised to use his legislative power to change the rules of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission so that it would defend the rights of Lakewood baker Jack Phillips who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is an anti-LGBT hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, organized the “Religious Freedom Rally” for its client Phillips, whose case will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court December 5.
The Civil Rights Commission found that Phillips violated Colorado’s nondiscrimination laws in 2013 by discriminating against the same-sex couple on the basis of their sexual orientation. Phillips and his ADF attorneys have repeatedly appealed that decision, losing every court ruling so far.
With a chuckle, Senator Lundberg announced that he and “many of his colleagues are committed to “changing the rules for Civil Rights Commission so that it actually defends the rights of the people of Colorado including Jack Phillips. We need to change the way the commissioners are appointed. We need to change the mission they have because we need to defend the liberties of everyone and I assure you we will fight for that in 2018.”
See Lundberg here:
According to the Commission’s website, “Commissioners are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the state Senate to serve four-year terms. They are selected from across Colorado and represent both political parties. Two commissioners represent business (one of whom represents small business), two represent government, and three represent the community at large. At least four of the commissioners are members of groups who have been or might be discriminated against because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, or age.”
“The Commission’s mission is to:
• Conduct hearings regarding illegal discriminatory practices
• Advise the Governor and General Assembly regarding policies and legislation that address illegal discrimination
• Review appeals of cases investigated and dismissed by CCRD
• Adopt and amend rules and regulations to be followed in enforcement of Colorado’s statutes prohibiting discrimination”
Sen. Lundberg did not specify how he intends to change the appointment process or the mission of the commissioners.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s authorization must be occasionally renewed by the state legislature. It will expire on July 1 of 2018 unless a “sunset review” bill is passed by both chambers and signed into law. It was last renewed in 2009, when it passed overwhelmingly, including a vote of 30-3 in the state Senate. Lundberg voted “Yes.”