Amendment 2 was a statewide antigay initiative prohibiting any branch of government in Colorado from passing legislation or adopting policies prohibiting discrimination against Gay people based on their sexual orientation. The measure was passed in 1992 by 53 percent of Colorado’s voters.
Don’t ski in Colorado, don’t hike there, don’t convention there, don’t visit there. That was the message, coming from the our friends inHollywood, indeed from gays & their friends across the country, in the weeks after Colorado became the “Hate State”. Among the celebrities calling for a boycott were Martina Navratilova, Barbra Streisand & Elizabeth Taylor, who all owned homes in Aspen.
The ACLU, the Colorado Legal Initiatives Project, & Lambda Legal won preliminary court rulings that kept the measure from taking effect until all lawsuits were resolved. The case went before the Supreme Court, which, on this day- May 20th 1996, struck down Amendment 2 in a landmark 6–3 ruling. In declaring Amendment 2 unconstitutional, the Court made clear that antigay sentiment does not justify governmental discrimination & shattered the “special rights” rhetoric of those who oppose equal treatment for lesbian, gays.
The bigots & haters in the early 1990s mounted voter initiatives at local & state levels to block & repeal the passage of laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. This case put an end to those efforts & led the way for numerous additional states & local governments to ban such discrimination.
This landmark victory was the single most positive Supreme Court ruling in the history of the gay rights movement when it was decided. The Court’s ruling made clear that Gay folks have the same right to seek government protection against discrimination in the USA as any other group of people. The decision also marked a new level of legal respect for the LGBT community & rejected the notion that it is legitimate for the government to discriminate against gay people based on religious objections to homosexuality.
In the 4 years after the vote, as the case made its way through the courts, Proposition 2 never actually became the law in Colorado.
Also on this day, in 1873 – Levi Strauss, a Jew & very possibly Gay, received a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets. A year later, in 1874, the “Castro Clone” look began & gum memberships soared.
On May 20th, 1891, was the first public display of Thomas Edison's prototype kinetoscope. On May 21st, a line forms at the offices of The Screen Actors Guild.