DENVER (AP) - An unenforced discrimination crime in Colorado is likely coming off the books under a bipartisan agreement inspired by a civil-unions bill.
The House voted 47-15 Tuesday to remove criminal penalties for discriminating in places of public accommodation. Democrats and Republicans sponsored the bill together after discussions about a new law granting legal recognition to same-sex couples.
Republicans who oppose civil unions have questioned whether business owners could face jail time for refusing to serve gays and lesbians. Discrimination would remain a civil penalty.
Democrats who support civil unions favored repeal. Colorado's criminal statute for discrimination has never been enforced.
The repeal has already passed the Senate and awaits the signature of Gov. John Hickenlooper. The civil unions law takes effect May 1.
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