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April 26, 2006

House Concurrent Resolution 1007: Preservation of Religious Freedom

Author:
Representative Cloer
Senator Brophy

Summary:
Restricts a government entity from substantially burdening a person's free exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the government entity demonstrates that the application of the burden to the person is both essential to furthering a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of doing so.

Status:

04/17/2006Introduced—Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
04/25/2006Hearing scheduled in State, Veterans, & Military Affairs

HSLDA's Position:
Support.

Action Requested:
We need your attendance to support HCR 06-1007 which is scheduled for a hearing before the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee on Tuesday, April 25, 1:30 p.m. in room 0107. Room 0107 is where the House Education Committee regularly meets and is located in the basement of the capitol between the elevators.

Please RSVP Treon Goossen of Concerned Parents of Colorado at treonelain@aol.com so we can reserve a big enough hearing room. Also you can email her questions about the hearing.

It will also be an educational field trip for your children to show them how government works!

Background:

At present, more than a quarter of the states have acted to protect religious freedom. Rhode Island, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Arizona, South Carolina, Texas, Idaho, New Mexico, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Oklahoma have passed their own state Religious Freedom Acts.

HSLDA's legal staff has worked with religious freedom coalitions in the states (and the national state religious freedom coalition), helped draft legislation, lobbied individual state legislators, attorney generals, and governor offices, sent out numerous e-lerts, and provided testimony at come legislative hearings in order to advance these Religious Freedom Acts.

The phone calls of thousands of homeschoolers particularly contributed to the passage of the RFAs in Illinois, Arizona, Texas, South Carolina, Idaho, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Illinois was successful after two HSLDA e-lerts and a tremendous outpouring of calls by homeschoolers convinced legislators to override the governor's veto.

On June 25, 1997, by a 6-3 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in The City of Boerne v. Flores that the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was unconstitutional. By making this ruling, the Court gave the lowest level of protection to religious liberty, one of the foundational freedoms of homeschooling. Under this minimal standard, Colorado can override a homeschooler or other citizen's right to freely exercise his religious beliefs merely by proving that its regulation is "reasonable." Since nearly all state regulations can be determined to be "reasonable," Christians will lose.

Since the devastating Boerne decision, state and federal courts across the country have diminished religious freedom in many ways. Passage of this act will raise the standard of protection for religious freedom in Colorado for individuals, homeschool parents, churches, and all who desire to freely exercise their religious beliefs.

If passed, the Colorado RFA will restore the high standard of protection for religious liberty previously guaranteed in the federal RFRA and earlier Supreme Court decisions.

Don't let one decision by the U.S. Supreme Court denigrate this inalienable right. Urge your state representative now to restore protection for religious liberty in Colorado by supporting HCR 06-1007.

 Other Resources

Apr.-21-2006—Colorado—Calls Needed to Support Homeschoolers' Religious Freedom

Apr.-24-2006—Colorado—Come Support Religious Freedom at Hearing Tuesday

Bill Text    (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History