Gays protected by new law |

Gays protected by new law

DENVER ” Gay people will be protected from being fired based on their sexual orientation under a bill signed into law Friday by Gov. Bill Ritter.

Lawmakers have passed similar bills in the last two years but they were vetoed by former Gov. Bill Owens.

People who think they were fired because of their sexual orientation will also be able to file a lawsuit against the employer.

The measure originally also would have made it illegal to consider someone’s religion in hiring and firing decisions. But lawmakers amended it to allow small religious organizations to give preference to people who support their religious values.

The measure (Senate Bill 25) was one of 16 bills Ritter signed Friday. He also approved a measure (Senate Bill 139) that will allow out-of-town lawmakers who live in Denver during the legislative session to collect about another $6,200 a year in living expenses.

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