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Colorado Democrats vote against bill making indecent exposure of children a crime because it could be ‘used to ban drag shows’, ‘target’ trans people

Colorado’s Democratic majority lawmakers defeated a House bill Saturday that would increase criminal penalties for indecent exposure of a minor to a crime.

One of the 27 Democratic lawmakers who voted against the measure claimed that, if passed, the legislation could be “used to ban drag shows” and “target” transgender people.

Under current Colorado law, a first offense of indecent exposure is a class 1 misdemeanor. The proposed bill, HB23-1135, titled “Penalty for Indecent Exposure to Minors,” would increase the penalty for indecent exposure to a minor to a Class 6 felony.

Although Democratic representatives Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Shannon Bird introduced the bill in the state House, 27 members of the party voted against the measure while Republicans unanimously supported the bill .

On Saturday, Democratic Rep. Leslie Herod accused the bill of trying to “target” transgender people and shut down drag shows.

“These kinds of laws have been used to ban drag shows, to target people who use the restroom — the gender they identify with, a public restroom — to charge them with criminal offenses. I “I am very concerned about the attacks against the transgender community that are happening all over the country,” Herod said.

“When I initially read this bill, it didn’t even cross my mind as an advocate, but when I looked at the bills and when I talked to my colleagues who are fighting these types of bills across the country, it’s very clear to me that the language very much mirrors some of the laws that have been used to target members of our community because of who they are,” he added.

u201cud83dudea8ud83dudea8 27 DEMOCRATS VOTE AGAINST INDECENT EXPOSURE OF MINOR A CLASS 6 FELONY!nnOne Democrat attacked the bill for “getting” the transgender community in their dissent . #copolitics #coleg nnud83dudcdcBILL: it yourself:u201d

— Colorado House Republicans (@Colorado House Republicans) 1682789870

In response to Herod, Bird argued that the bill received no pushback from local LGBT+ organizations.

Bird stated that the legislation “is about protecting children, making sure that any sexual offense against a child is punished”.

“There is no intent to harm any member of any community,” Bird added.

During an earlier reading of the bill, Democratic lawmakers opposed the measure for nearly three hours, according to Colorado House Republican deputy chief of staff Roger Hudson.

Despite the opposition, the law was passed with amendments.

Over the weekend, Bird took to Twitter to announce the passage of the legislation.

“In Colorado, we protect children. Yesterday we passed my bill to hold adults accountable when they expose themselves. [or] masturbate in front of children. This is the only sex crime against children that is not a crime. Our bill will change that,” Bird wrote.

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