By CHEC Legislative Liaison Carolyn Martin
Update on Student Free Speech Bill
Good news! Last week, a bill I spoke about in an earlier post was heard in the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee. Traditionally, this is the committee where bills go to die. This bill, SB17-062 Student Free Speech on Public Higher Education Campuses, was able to pass through the committee with only one dissenting vote. It moves on to the House floor for debate and then a final vote. The bill may be voted on in the House as early as this Friday. Passage is not assured, but optimism is in order after seeing the bill pass the Senate with a vote of 32-2 and garnering an overwhelming majority of votes in the House committee. If you are concerned about this issue, please contact your House Representative and express your opinion on this bill before Friday.
Parental Rights Under Attack
Another bill that I am closely monitoring is HB17-1156 Prohibits Conversion Therapy by a Mental Health Provider. Conversion therapy, as defined in the bill, means: “any practice by a licensee or registrant that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” This bill would prohibit this type of therapy for patients under the age of eighteen, undermining a parent’s right to direct the care of their child. In the state of Colorado, pastors do not have to be licensed to counsel their congregants. Christian counselors and lay ministers or pastors with Pastoral Counseling degrees often seek licensing through the state. This bill would jeopardize their ability to practice and the Christian community’s ability to receive assistance with a child struggling with sexual confusion.
Not surprisingly, this bill passed through the House. It is on its way to the Senate. The hope is that it will be sent to a committee that will see the problems with this bill. If action is needed, we will let you know.
Your Presence is Needed
I know it can be difficult to make it up to the Capitol, especially for homeschooling families who don’t live in Denver. But I want to let you know that your presence at the Day at the Capitol rally on Friday, April 7th is vital! When we all show up, not only is our voice magnified, but the light of Christ also shines throughout the entire assembly! Pray about attending CHEC’s Day at the Capitol and then, let us know if you’ll be coming. There is much for a family to do to make it worth the long drive! I hope to see you there.
Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
Carolyn Martin, CHEC Legislative Liaison