A religious freedom bill sponsored by Colorado Republicans failed to pass a house committee Wednesday afternoon after a 4-hour debate and a party-line vote.
By a vote of 6-3, Democrats killed the Colorado Freedom of Conscience Protection Act in the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.
Before the hearing Wednesday afternoon, LGBT rights advocates, faith leaders, small business owners and Denver District Attorney Beth McCann gathered inside the Capitol to speak out against the bill.
“It’s kind of disheartening to be standing up again and again to name that our faith is not justification to discriminate against people,” said Reverend Amanda Henderson, executive director of the Colorado Interfaith Alliance.
Henderson introduced a group of speakers who opposed the legislation and similar measures that failed to pass in 2016 and 2015.
“Faith leaders have been really one of our strongest allies in this,” said Daniel Ramos, executive director of ONE Colorado.
Ramos argued the bill would have allowed businesses to refuse service to members of the LGBT community.
He said the measure would also have given people the greenlight to “pick and choose which laws to follow.”
House Bill 1013 was sponsored by representatives Steve Humphrey and Dave Williams.
"Religious freedom is the primary right of all Americans, and it is unfortunate that here in Colorado there is no protection for the free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights," Representative Humphrey said in a statement released by Colorado House Republicans.