State Scolded AGAIN for Violating Rights of Christians

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is pictured in a still from a video on the governor’s office Spanish-language account. (@GovofCoEspanol / X screen shot)

This article originally appeared on WND.com

Guest by post by Bob Unruh

Newest ruling addresses exclusion of Catholic preschools from program

For at least the third time, the state of Colorado’s anti-Christian agenda has been cited – and condemned – by the federal courts.

The latest ruling said the state broke the law by excluding Catholic preschools from a universal preschool program – solely because those schools consider religious affiliate in making enrollment decisions.

It is the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty that explained a federal court ruling cites the state’s illegal exclusion of those preschools from a program that funds 15 hours per week of free preschool to more than 40,000 families.

During its first year, it benefited families with children in private, public and faith-based preschools.

But leftist activists inside the state’s bureaucracy refused to authorize benefits to families who sent their children to St. Mary’s and St. Bernadette’s Catholic preschools because those institutions ask families to share their Catholic beliefs.

The court found, in its 101-page opinion, that the state’s discrimination “created an unworkable scheme that breaches the appropriate limits on state power.”

The court found the state had “no compelling interest” in its discriminatory policy.

“Last year, a different federal judge in Denver also issued a ruling against the state, in a case brought by a separate religious preschool raising similar claims,” Becket reported.

“Of course a Catholic school shouldn’t be punished for caring about its students’ religion,” explained Nick Reaves, a Becket lawyer. “Colorado richly deserves this injunction, as it did the earlier one.”

The schools explained the state’s discrimination violated the Free Exercise, Free Speech and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment.

Integral to the state’s agenda is that it demands schools incorporate sexual orientation and gender identity ideologies into their programs. The state has plunged headfirst into that ideology since the election of homosexual Gov. Jared Polis.

The judge said, “The department has allowed faith-based providers to deny children and families equal opportunity based on their religious affiliation, or lack thereof, and has cited no compelling interest for permitting that discrimination while denying plaintiffs’ request for a related exemption. On that narrow basis, I conclude defendants have violated plaintiffs’ free-exercise rights and that judgment in favor of plaintiffs is warranted. I consequently grant Plaintiffs relief in the form of a limited permanent injunction, declaratory judgment, and nominal damages.”

It ruled, “The court immediately and permanently enjoins defendants Lisa Roy and Dawn Odean, acting in their official capacities on behalf of the Colorado Department of Early Childhood, from requiring, as a condition for participation in the Colorado Universal Preschool Program, that the preschools operated by plaintiffs St. Mary Catholic Parish in Littleton and St. Bernadette Catholic Parish in Lakewood agreed to provide or provide eligible children an equal opportunity to enroll and receive preschool services regardless of religious affiliation for as long as defendants allow exceptions from the religious affiliation aspect of the equal-opportunity requirement set out in [state law] and in the Colkorado Universial Preschool Program Service Agreement.

The defendants were ordered to pay $1 nominal damages.

The total hasn’t been announced, but Colorado taxpayers likely won’t get off so easily in the attacks on Christianity earlier, under the administration of Polis.

It recently lost the 303 Creative case at the U.S. Supreme Court.

There, state officials demanded that a Christian web designer follow the state’s anti-Christian “non-discrimination” mandate and promote events that violated the web designer’s faith.

A judge recently ruled that the state – the taxpayers – must pay the costs and fees for the plaintiff in that caser.

Such cases, by the time they are all the way through the high court, can accumulate tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars in lawyers’ time and costs.

The leftist state’s failed attack was on Lorie Smith and her 303 Creative company, through which she intended to create websites for couples being married.

However, the state demanded that should she begin that service, she also must provide the same services to same-sex duos, in violation of her Christian faith.

She sued for the First Amendment violation demanded by the state, and won.

The state earlier lost a similar battle with Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, who challenged the state’s “non-discrimination” plan that also would require him to promote ideologies that violate his Christian faith.

In that case, the Supreme Court specifically cited Colorado’s “hostility” to Christianity under Polis.

Copyright 2024 WND News Center

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