Action Needed: CO Bills HB20-1063 and HB20-1144

Representatives Geitner (R, district 19) and Pelton (R, district 65) have introduced a piece of legislation they are calling “Fundamental Family Rights” (HB20-1063) and “Parent’s Bill of Rights” (HB20-1144). If enacted, this legislation would give parents “fundamental” and “inalienable” rights over their children regarding every area of their life– as just one example, it makes it a crime if a teacher does not out their trans student to their non-affirming parents if they attempt to socially transition at school. Rep. Geitner and Pelton’s bills would make what happened to Leelah Alcorn an inevitability in Colorado.

When Leelah died, she begged us to “fix society, please.” Now is our chance to live up to her challenge because the hearing is February 13th, in the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee.

What you can do:

  • If you are a resident of Colorado, please call the sponsors Geitner and Pelton, your state representatives, and Committee members (their contact information is below). If a phone call is not your preferred method of contact, you can email the committee representatives.
  • If you are not a current resident of Colorado but have experiences relevant to home education, being LGBT+, or child abuse and neglect that occured in Colorado, please feel free to contact the Education Committee members and tell them your story and your concerns with this bill.

When contacting legislators:

  • Always remember to be polite. Please remember to refer to representatives with their title and surname (ie, “Representative Smith”).
  • Listen, and be curious. Ask the representative for their perspective on the bill(s) first– you might be surprised by what you learn! If they support the bill(s), see if you can persuade them or give them something to think about. If they oppose, telling them your story can give them a helpful boost during the committee hearing.

The Coalition for Responsible Home Education’s Concerns with these bills:

  • The language of giving parents “fundamental,” “inalienable,” and “unobstructed” rights gives parents the authority to supersede the rights of their children, essentially eliminating children’s rights in Colorado.
  • Parent’s rights should never be discussed in isolation from parent’s responsibilities, and children’s rights must always be balanced with parental responsibilities.
  • This legislation enshrines parent’s authority and control into law without ever mentioning the rights of children to liberty, the pursuit of happiness, dignity, and their own conscience.
  • Children are not chattel: they are not “owned” by their parents. Children are no one’s property, to be treated or mistreated on the whim of another person.
  • If parents can direct their child’s education without “obstruction or interference,” what happens to children who aren’t educated? Who can’t even read?

Sponsors Contact Information:

Rep. Geitner:

Rep. Pelton:

Contact Information for Colorado State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee:

 Name Role Capitol Phone E-mail
 Chris Kennedy  Chair  303-866-2951
 Sonya Jaquz Lewis  Vice Chair  303-866-2920
 Monica Duran  Committee  303-866-5522
 Stephen Humphrey  Committee  303-866-2943
 Cathy Kipp  Committee  303-866-4569
 Susan Lontine  Committee  303-866-2966
 Janice Rich  Committee  303-866-3068
 Emily Sirota  Committee  303-866-2910
 Dave Williams  Committee  303-866-5525
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