The Pride of Equality
June 9, 2012 by Admin
by David Duffield
Twenty years ago, a generation of LGBT Coloradans were besieged—excluded from equal protection under the law by Amendment 2. The gay communities of Colorado gathered together and called upon their members to organize, mobilize, and fight for equality.
In Grand Junction, the Common Decency Coalition (now Western Equality) formed to educate the masses and influence public policy.
In Pueblo, the organization Pueblo After 2 (now the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance) worked to secure LGBT rights in southern Colorado, becoming the first group listed under gay in the Pueblo phonebook.
In June of 1992 in Colorado Springs, at the height of debate around Amendment 2, a group of 250 people marched from Colorado College to Acacia Park in the second annual Pride Parade. Those few who marched for truth of self and love forever shattered the ambivalent oppression of long silent masses.
In Denver, The Center formed Equal Rights Colorado to fight Amendment 2. Pride 1992 was rallied by 20,000 people, more than any year before.
Denver’s PrideFest is now the nation’s third largest Pride Festival attended by over 275,000 people.
Now, a generation later, we are besieged yet again. North Carolina has passed a law similar to Amendment 2. Focus on the Family and leaders like Mitt Romney persistently declare only good families should have one father and one mother. Decisions in the Supreme Court around Prop 8 hang the very future of marriage equality in the balance. The Colorado Civil Unions Bill was once again defeated.
And yet we endure—progress endures. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been repealed. President Obama has come out in favor of marriage equality. Nine states have full marriage equality, and nearly half of all other states have some laws against discrimination in employment, housing, schools, and respecting adoption and hospital visitations. The New York Times reported last year that popular opinion has edged on the side of full marriage equality for same-sex couples.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” wrote Thomas Jefferson. Rights come and go and yet human rights can only progress if we support each other.
We the people of Colorado are called again to organize and mobilize while galvanizing support around those who support us. We are called across generations to secure in liberty and equality human rights regardless of sexual orientation or gender persuasion, and so tested by our fortitude that gay rights shall long endure and no person shall be judged for who we love but how.
We of HRC Colorado call upon you the people of Colorado to join us this year not only as we march in Pride, but as we march together toward the fight for equality.
May 16, 2013