Focus On The Family has withdrawn their application to place an item on the Colorado ballot that would ask voters if it should be legal to discriminate against anybody based on “deeply held religious beliefs.” Civil rights groups warned that such a measure would legalize the refusal of housing and employment to LGBT people.
“There’s a tangled thicket of regulations that make it difficult to negotiate our way through the process,” [Focus vice president Tom] Minnery said. “When you think of a genuine grassroots effort by volunteers, (some rules) are a wet blanket in that process.” Minnery said there is pending federal litigation — the Independence Institute, Jon Caldara et al. vs. Bernie Buescher — challenging many aspects of state rules governing the initiative process. It could result in removing some of the worst thorns, Minnery said. Minnery said one drawback in the process as it now stands is that anyone can file a civil lawsuit alleging fraud against ballot-petition circulators if any petition signers falsify information. Colorado Springs-based Focus would consider another attempt at a ballot measure in the 2014 election cycle or look at a legislative push next year, Minnery said. Focus also withdrew a similar measure in 2010.