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Colorado county government accused of discrimination

Many Colorado businesses are probably well-aware of the dangers of a sexual harassment or discrimination suit. Even when the allegations are completely unfounded, the reputation of a business can suffer, and a recovery could take years. Likewise, governments also face discrimination suits, particularly in their dealings with local residents.

Recently, a same-sex couple sued a Colorado county for alleged sexual discrimination. The two accusers are retired business executives and had sought a building permit for a house. According to the suit, the men claim that county executives discriminated against them due to religious beliefs.

Specifically, the two allege that the county initially told them that only families could get building permits, even though the men were eventually issued a permit. The men also claim that they were not given due help in installing a septic tank system. However, the county says the two men were simply inexperienced in building a home. Moreover, county policies posted online say that building permits can only be issued to general contractors or to those who are acting as general contractors for their own house.

While discrimination in the workplace or by a government is certainly not appropriate, there are at least two sides to every story. In this case, it may well be that the two men were simply bumping into many of the same problems that so many others face in their dealings with a governmental body. If so, then that is not necessarily evidence of discrimination.

Source:, "Gay couple sues Summit County for discrimination," Caddie Nath, Nov. 8, 2011

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