DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado House of Representatives has advanced a proposal to repeal Columbus Day and replace it with Mother Cabrini Day in Colorado.
Christopher Columbus in recent years has become controversial over his treatment of indigenous people. Over 10 states have already repealed the holiday.
Mother Cabrini, a Catholic saint who set up orphanages in Colorado, would be honored with a holiday in October.
Debate on the house floor became heated Wednesday.
“We don’t want to celebrate a person who committed genocide on indegenious people,” Rep. Serene Gonzales Gutierrez (D) said.
Others defended Columbus — which remains an important figure to Italian Americans.
“Nobody in history except one person was perfect,” Rep. Patrick Neville (R) said.
A final vote is expected tomorrow in the House before the bill heads to the Senate.
Similar legislation failed in the State Senate last year.
Senate President Leroy Garcia was non-commital on the legislation during a briefing with reporters this past week.
“That’s been a controversial issue in the past,” Garcia said.
“I’m open to the conversation,” Garcia added.