Democratic Gov. Jared Polis claimed Colorado is open to all business, but he appeared to forget his past involvement in the infamous Masterpiece Bakery lawsuit.
On Thursday, the Florida House of Representatives voted in favor of stripping Disney of its Reedy Creek Improvement Act privileges which now will now head to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature. This followed the company’s open condemnation of the controversial Parental Rights in Education bill, which critics have called the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”
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Polis criticized DeSantis’ fight with Disney on Tuesday, calling it an example of “authoritarian socialist attacks on the private sector.” Appearing on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” Thursday, he went even further and compared DeSantis to Nicolás Maduro and Hugo Chávez.
“This is out of the playbook of authoritarianism of government intervention in private business, saying you don’t do what I want, in this case you’re not supporting my anti-gay law, I will directly penalize your company, not pass some general law that affects all companies. Literally, we will go after your company if you don’t get in line. I mean, that’s out of the playbook of Maduro in Venezuela, Chavez. This is the leadership they have that stifles freedom, stifles economic prosperity, and it’s exactly what we’re seeing out of Ron DeSantis in Florida, “Polis said.
By contrast, Polis offered his state to be the future host for Disney World, claiming that he wants to support businesses “no matter what your viewpoints are.”
“In Colorado, we have a different tradition. I don’t care what your political philosophy is. You can be conservative, liberal. You can be religious right, religious left, atheist, middle, doesn’t matter. We want to give. you the opportunity to thrive in our state. And no matter what your political viewpoints are. Our state is open for business, open for jobs, certainly open to host Disney World, “Polis said.
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Colorado, however, was not always open to all political viewpoints. Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips was sued three times over his refusal to bake cakes for a gay wedding and commemorating gender transition because he said it violated his Christian faith. After the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that Phillips had violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act for refusing service, he later appealed to the Supreme Court in 2017. The court later ruled 7-2 in favor of the bakery.
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Polis, who served as a congressman at the time, was one of 211 members of Congress who filed an amicus brief in support of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission against Phillips.
“It’s a basic principle: discrimination of any kind is wrong in a public accommodation,” Polis said at the time. “We must not chip away at anti-discrimination protections under law. The liberty of all Americans, not just LGBTQ Americans, is at stake.”