A proposal to repeal laws that make it a crime to commit adultery or "promote sexual immorality" survived its first hearing in the legislature Thursday, after comments that ranged from the silly to the serious.
"Adultery is a matter between a person and their spouse and their conscience and their minister, but not between a person and the full enforcement authority of the state of Colorado," said Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Cherry Hills Village.
"Let's keep the police out of our bedrooms," he said.
The House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 1166 on an 8-3 vote, with Republican Carole Murray of Castle Rock, supporting the measure.
Jon Caldara, the president of the Independence Institute, testified in favor of the bill, but said he was not speaking for the think tank.
He repeated jokes made earlier in a newsletter about women wanting to commit adultery with him but were worried about prosecution. Then he got serious.
"It's a conservative value to get rid of bills that are useless," Caldara said.
Under current law, a motel owner, for example, who rents a room to a couple having an affair is guilty of the misdemeanor crime of "promoting immorality." There is no penalty for adultery, but it still is illegal.
According to a fiscal analysis of the bill, between 2007 and 2012 there were 10 cases and two convictions of promoting sexual immorality.
A pastor and a priest testified against the bill, while a member of the American Civil Liberties Union testified in favor.