Colorado State Freedom Of Conscience Protection Act (HB 1171)
This law was last updated on Oct 12, 2016
HB 1171 would prohibit the government from burdening a person’s freedom of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability unless the government demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is essential to further a compelling governmental interest, and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
The amendment states that a person whose religious freedom has been burdened in violation of the amendment may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial, administrative, or other proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government, regardless of whether any government entity is a party to the proceeding.
The amendment does allow religious freedom to be raised as a defense in lawsuits between private citizens and therefore differs from the federal RFRA which permits lawsuits only against government entities. Had it passed, this bill would have permitted discrimination against LGBT people on the basis of freedom of conscience.