Colorado Republicans vote to withhold money from civil rights group

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People are protesting for the Civil Rights Commission and their clients. | Photo: Flickr/Victoria Pickering

Last week, Republicans in Colorado voted to withhold money from the state’s Civil Rights Commission.

The commission is a seven-member, bipartisan board focused on illegal discrimination.

The Colorado Governor appoints the members, and then the state Senate approves them for four-year terms. Two members represent business, two more represent government, and the final three represent the community at large.

According to their website, ‘at least four of the commissioners are members of groups who have been or might be discriminated against’.

Republicans who voted to deny the organization money say it’s temporary.

‘We are committed to the reauthorization of the Civil Rights Commission,’ Republican State Sen. Bob Gardner said. ‘I believe the make up of the commission is not balanced right now.’

He added he believes the board has ‘too much power’.

The CCRO is currently in the news as one of the groups involved in the US Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop. They initially brought the gay couple’s case to the Colorado Supreme Court and have stood by them since.

The fight begins

Lucas Acosta, the DNC LGBTQ Media Director, told GSN he finds the decision ‘shameful’.

‘Every American deserves a government that fights for their basic human rights,’ he said. ‘Colorado Republicans’ actions today send a clear message that they’re interested in creating a government that does just the opposite.

‘Fighting for civil rights shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but it’s become more and more clear that Republicans, in Colorado and Washington, are more interested in taking us backwards than fighting to improve the lives of every American.’

JoDee Winterhof, Human Rights Campaign SVP for Policy and Political Affairs also said ‘this reckless action will not go unnoticed by the fair-minded majority of Colorado voters who will hold them accountable’.

Yesterday, people gathered outside the state capitol to protest the vote.

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