Housing and Public Accommodations Discrimination

LGBTQ AND GENERAL DISCRIMINATION

Colorado law provides that ALL people in Colorado are entitled to equal access to housing and public accommodations.  With regard to housing, it is unlawful for any person to “refuse to show, sell, transfer, rent or lease, or to refuse to receive and transmit any bona fide offer to buy sell, rent, or lease, or otherwise make unavailable or deny or withhold from any person such housing because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, religion, national origin, or ancestry,” or to discriminate against any person because of those same classifications, or to make any written or oral inquiry or record concerning those same classifications.  (See, Colorado Senate Bill 08-200)

A place of public accommodation includes any business that is engaged in any sales or offers services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to the public, this includes all sorts of businesses, such as restaurants, stores, hospitals, health clubs, clinics, schools, etc.  Specifically excluded are churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places principally used for religious purposes.  Pursuant to Colorado law, it is unlawful for a place of public accommodation to refuse, withhold from, or deny individuals in any of the above listed classifications, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, etc., offered by the place of public accommodation.

Colorado’s law against housing and public accommodation discrimination was amended in 2008 to include protection of members of the LGBTQ community.  In particular, sexual orientation was included as one of the prohibited bases for discrimination.  As such, LGBTQ people cannot be denied housing or in any way discriminated against with regard to housing because of their sexual orientation.  Additionally, LGBTQ people cannot be discriminated against with regard to public accommodations because of their sexual orientation.

With regard to public accommodations, the law specifically requires that schools have a transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination policy in place to protect LGBTQ youth.  A school is not allowed to deny enrollment to a student based upon the student being LGBTQ or the student’s parents being LGBTQ.

Review Colorado Senate Bill 08-200 here.

Keep in mind!  These laws have extremely strict time periods for filing complaints regarding discrimination or harassment, in some cases as short as 60 days.  It is critical that you consult legal counsel as soon as you believe you, or your child, may have experienced discrimination or harassment.  Our firm works hard to help you enforce your rights.