Colorado Pastor Protection Bill (HB 1123)
This law was last updated on Sep 29, 2016
HB 1123 would grant an exemption to clergy, ministers, and religiously affiliated organizations from any requirement to participate in religious or other ceremonies, including marriage, that would conflict with their sincerely held religious beliefs.
The bill further amends the public accommodations laws to specify that for the purpose of the solemnization of any marriage or religious ceremony or for providing services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges related to the solemnization of any marriage or religious ceremony, “person” does not include a clergy member, a minister, or an individual acting within the scope of his or her employment with a religious organization, an organization supervised or controlled by a religious organization, or an organization with a connection to a religious organization.
The bill specifies that a refusal to provide services by a clergy member, a minister, or an individual associated with a religious organization is not the basis for a civil or criminal action or any other action by the state.
The bill goes on to specify in certain tax laws that the tax exempt status of an organization exempt from taxation under federal tax law may not be withheld if the organization, or an employee acting within the scope of that employment, chooses not to solemnize any marriage or religious ceremony or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization of any marriage or religious ceremony if the action would cause the organization to violate a sincerely held religious belief.