State Senator Pat Steadman (D-Denver), co-sponsor of the Colorado same-sex civil union bill SB11, went to the floor of the Colorado Senate this week and lashed out at people of faith, claiming they want to "establish separate water fountains" for gay people and straight people in their churches and believe "My religion says I can't help [gays]. God told me to hate [gays]."
At another point he says people of faith "don't want gay people sitting on the bus next to them, they'd rather the gays stayed far to the back of the bus, far far away."
Steadman also argues that any person of faith with pro-marriage views should be forced to violate their conscience if they choose to continue operating their business (flower shops, bakeries, restaurants, photographers, banquet halls, etc) after the passage of same-sex civil unions. (He's right about one thing -- this civil unions bill poses a grave threat to religious freedom!)
Here is the transcript -- it is interesting to note how in the first paragraph Steadman claims his bill protects religious liberty (we see this claim made time and time again) and yet it is clear by the end how much he holds religion in contempt (and completely misunderstands it):
"We've written Senate Bill 11 to make sure this separation between religious belief and what's happening here in our state code, in our statutes, in our civil laws are kept separate. For Senate Bill 11 respects religious freedom, this bill does not reach into anyone's church or mosque or synagogue, you can have all the free exercise there that you want. Exercise it as you see fit. But don't let your free exercise run my life. Don't claim religion as a reason the law should discriminate. We have laws against discrimination. Discrimination is banned in employment, and housing, and public accommodations, and so bakeries that serve the public, aren't supposed to look down their noses and one particular class of persons and say "we don't sell cakes to you." It's troubling, this discrimination. And it's already illegal.
So, what to say to those who claim that religion requires them to discriminate? I'll tell you what I'd say: "Get thee to a nunnery!" And live there then. Go live a monastic life away from modern society, away from people you can't see as equals to yourself. Away from the stream of commerce where you may have to serve them or employ them or rent banquet halls to them. Go some place and be as judgmental as you like. Go inside your church, establish separate water fountains in there if you want, but don't claim that free exercise of religion requires the state of Colorado to establish separate water fountains for her citizens. That's not what we're doing here."
Watch the video for yourself:
Please continue to take action and urge your state representatives to oppose same-sex civil unions by opposing SB11!