As Jesse Paul at the Colorado Sun reports, at least some Republican state lawmakers in the General Assembly are…uncomfortable, we guess you could say, with a slate of starkly anti-LGBT bills set to be debated and killed in the Colorado House State Affairs Committee later today after the usual several hours of lurid testimony:
None of the bills will advance in the Democratic-led General Assembly, and if anything, the measures are sowing an ideological divide within the Republican Party. They’re also opening an avenue of attack for Democrats, who are using the legislation to angle for votes in November. Progressive lawmakers and groups are planning a rally on Thursday to blast the measures and support the LGBTQ community.
“This slate of hateful, bigoted anti-LGBTQ bills show exactly what the GOP would do if they had a majority: use their power to attack trans youth, loving couples hoping to adopt, and children,” read a tweet this week from the House Democrat caucus, which is led by House Speaker KC Becker of Boulder.
The measures are primarily being run and sponsored by three lawmakers: Republican Reps. Shane Sandridge of Colorado Springs, Dave Williams of Colorado Springs and Steve Humphrey of Severance. The lawmakers defended the legislation.
The Sun reports that a large number of Republican lawmakers didn’t want to discuss these bills at all. A few others like Sen. Don Coram, who has previously discouraged legislative attacks on LGBT people, were willing to tell a reporter–after being asked of course, not on their own–that these bills are neither politically helpful nor morally appropriate.
Today’s hearing at 1:30PM gives all Republicans who have ever argued that their party’s fixation on persecuting LGBT Americans is wrong one of the best chances they may ever have to enter those convictions into the permanent record. For years now while Republicans pulled out all the stops to kill even modest concessions to LGBT Americans’ right to exist–like civil unions in 2012–and paid dearly for their wedge issue fixation at the polls, there has always been a faction of generally younger and urban Republicans who have vocalized dismay and warned that the next generation will not accept the bigotry baby-boomer Republicans were steeped in.
If we’re to believe any of that regret was legitimate as opposed to simply the political sidestep of the moment, we expect to see an army of well-known Republicans in elected office and polite society lining up at today’s hearing to state clearly that the GOP lawmakers behind these bills do not speak for them.
Short of that, we have no reason to believe it was ever true.