HB20-1200 - Religious Symbols: Is my Mezuzah Too Big? (And What’s a Mezuzah?)

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On June 30th, 2020, House Bill 20-1200 was signed into law. This bill HB20-1200 amended the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”) to include protections for unit owners who wish to display religious items or symbols on the entry door or entry door frame of their unit. 

HB20-1200 amended §38-33.3-106.5 of the CCIOA. This section now includes §38-33.3-106.5(c.5), which states that that despite any provision in the declaration, bylaws, or rules and regulations of the association to the contrary, an association shall not prohibit the display of a religious item or symbol on the entry door or entry door frame of a unit. 

However, an Association may prohibit the item or symbol to the extent that it:

  • Threatens public health or safety; 
  • Hinders the opening or closing of an entry door;
  • Violates federal or state law or a municipal ordinance;
  • Contains graphics, language or any display that is obscene or otherwise illegal; or
  • Individually or in combination with other religious items or symbols, covers an area greater than thirty-six square inches.

This means that if you live in an HOA and would like to place a cross or a mezuzah, or any other "item or symbol displayed because of a sincerely held religious belief" (so long as it does not violate one of the above prohibitions) your association may not prevent you from doing so. 

What’s a mezuzah, you ask? Good question! Adherents to the Jewish faith sometimes place a piece of parchment called a “klaf” contained in a decorative case and inscribed with specific Hebrew verses from the Torah. In mainstream Rabbinic Judaism, a mezuzah is affixed to the doorpost of Jewish homes.

As a Board Member, you should review HB20-1200 and §38-33.3-106.5 of the CCIOA and then review your association’s governing documents to ensure compliance. Do not hesitate to reach out to a licensed Colorado attorney if you have any questions regarding compliance. As a homeowner, you should also review HB20-1200 and §38-33.3-106.5 of the CCIOA to familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities, if you chose to display religious items or symbols on the entry door or entry door frame of your unit.

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