The mandatory use of preferred pronouns is at the center of a battle between progressives in the Colorado House and Senate and conservative groups suing the liberal lawmakers, claiming the compulsory speech violates their First Amendment rights.

Gays Against Groomers — a nonprofit coalition of gay people who oppose "the recent trend of indoctrinating, sexualizing and medicalizing children under the guise of ‘LGBTQIA+’" — and the Rocky Mountain Women's Network — a women's advocacy group fighting for "sex-based rights" in Colorado — were named on Thursday as plaintiffs in the joint lawsuit, which was filed by attorneys with the Institute for Free Speech.

The suit alleges that Colorado lawmakers silenced the groups during public hearings for HB24-1071, colloquially known as "Tiara's Law," which is a bill that would make it easier for transgender felons to change their name. It is still being discussed in the legislature.

COLORADO COULD BECOME THE FIRST STATE TO BUILD SEPARATE PRISON UNITS FOR TRANSGENDER FELONS

photo of rainbow flag

Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Montana State Capitol protesting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation on March 15, 2021, in Helena, Mont.? (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP, File)

The defendants listed in the 30-page lawsuit are: Rep. Lorena Garcia, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Mike Weissman, Rep. Leslie Herod, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Julie Gonzales and Sen. Dafna Michaelson Jenet. All are Democrats.

"In many schools and workplaces, the ongoing debate about trans ideology has spawned pronoun rituals, with some people choosing to announce their pronouns as a matter of course and many transgender individuals insisting upon being referred to by their preferred pronouns, including fictional or plural pronouns," the lawsuit states. "Americans also argue about whether, or when, to refer to people by their new trans-inspired names.

"There is nothing wrong with Americans, or their elected representatives, debating trans ideology."

DETRANSITIONERS SAY THEY FACE VITRIOL FROM TRANS ACTIVISTS THEY PREVIOUSLY CONSIDERED A 'SECOND FAMILY'

Colorado's capitol building

Colorado State Capitol in Denver. (John Greim/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Colorado Democrats are "abusing their authority to put a thumb on the scale of the public’s debate about transgenderism" by prescribing how critics are permitted to "present their views during the public-testimony portion of committee hearings," the groups allege.

"By prohibiting ‘misgendering’ or ‘deadnaming’ and otherwise requiring citizens to express fealty to transgender ideology under the guise of 'civility' or ‘decorum,’" individuals aren't able to fairly debate their ideas, the lawsuit states.

"Deadnaming" refers to identifying an individual by their birth name instead of a new name that is usually chosen alongside a preferred pronoun. 

BIDEN SLAMMED ON SOCIAL MEDIA AFTER ANNOUNCING TRANSGENDER DAY OF VISIBILITY ON EASTER SUNDAY

examples of neopronouns

A guide to common neopronouns.? (Screenshot/Gutfeld!)

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Lawmakers in Colorado "unlawfully trampled all over the First Amendment" because the groups' public comments didn't conform to the Democrats' "ideology," Jaimee Michell, the founder of Gays Against Groomers, told Fox News Digital in a statement.

"It was undemocratic and inappropriate," Michell said. 

While introducing "Tiara's Law," Gonzalez asked public commenters to refrain from "using derogatory language or misgendering witnesses or using a witness’ deadname." Weissman then codified Gonzalez's request and made it a rule during the hearings, preventing some people from giving public testimony altogether. 

The bill was originally named after Tiara Latrice Kelley, a Colorado transgender woman whose criminal record includes three misdemeanor sex work charges in Florida, the Colorado Newsline reported. The House voted against officially naming the bill Tiara's Law after Republicans argued it shouldn't be named for someone with a criminal history.

Several other bills pertaining to transgender individuals are also making their way through the Colorado Legislature, including one that would create a category for gender-based hate crimes. 

The lawmakers named in the lawsuit did not respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

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