Denver, CO, February 9, 2015…The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) testified today in opposition to a bill that would have required public universities to recognize and financially support student organizations that discriminate based on religion and other personal characteristics. The legislation, House Bill 1037, was defeated in the House Education Committee on a 6-5 vote.
ADL – Mountain States Region Board member Pamela Hirschman represented ADL and testified against the bill.
Colorado State Representative Kevin Priola sponsored the bill that was identical to a bill defeated in the legislature during the 2014 session. Students at public universities already have the right to form clubs and organizations that deny membership based on religion. However, these groups are not guaranteed public funding to support their mission and programs. The bill would have granted discriminatory exemptions to religious student groups and required public universities to fund them.
The issue is not whether student organizations are free to believe and associate as they like. They can. The issue is whether they have a right to be funded to operate in a discriminatory manner. They should not. We do not support taxpayer funded discrimination,” Hirschman said.
The committee voted to postpone the bill indefinitely. As a result, the measure will not be addressed again during in the 2015 legislative session. ADL is grateful to Hirschman for testifying and to its Government Affairs Committee for its commitment to speaking out against policies that promote discrimination.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.