Denver, CO – The Colorado legislature has passed a bill limiting the power of homeowners’ associations (HOA) with regards to flag and sign displays in people’s yards.
HB21-1310 prohibits HOAs from being able to stop people from flying flags or political signs, with few exceptions.
“The bill simplifies and broadens these protections, requiring an HOA to permit the display of any flag or sign at any time, subject only to reasonable, content-neutral limitations such as the number, size, or placement of the flags or signs,” the legislation reads.
If the bill is signed into law by Colorado Governor Jared Polis – a move that is expected – HOAs will no longer be able to “prohibit or regulate the display of window signs or yard signs on the basis of their subject matter, message, or content” with the exception of “commercial messages.”
The Colorado Senate passed the bill on Tuesday.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein praised the bill, calling it “a major step forward to advance the free-speech rights of the thousands of Coloradans who live in HOA-controlled communities,” Westword reported.
Silverstein also noted that the legislation doesn’t favor one political group or agenda over another.
“One of the people who testified last week at a House committee was a former police officer who got in touch with us,” he told Westword. “He has flown a Thin Blue Line flag for the past four years, and he put it up after the shooting in Boulder at a King Soopers where an officer died in the line of duty — and afterward, he got a letter from his HOA telling him he had to take it down.”
Silverstein said the former officer is one of more than 125 people who contacted the ACLU about the very same issue over the course of the past several months.
“He testified about his experience, why he flies that flag, and why he believes he should have the right to fly that flag — and if the bill is signed into law, he’ll be able to do that again,” Silverstein added. “There are thousands of people who have been silenced by these rules. And this bill will end that silence.”