AHA Activities

Exchange on Anti-Gay Discrimination in Colorado

Various Authors, September 1993

Dear Governor Romer:

I am writing at the direction of the governing Council of the American Historical Association, the oldest and largest organization of professional historians in the United States to express our deep concern at the recent action taken by a majority of the voters of Colorado, which has the effect of weakening the protection of individuals against discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.

This action was voted by the Council at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in Washington, D.C., December 27–30, 1992, attended by over 4,000 historians.

While the Association has not met in the state of Colorado in recent years, its electorate's action would make it virtually impossible for us to consider Denver or any other Colorado site for a future convention.

The American Historical Association deplores all acts of discrimination against minorities or any other group's enjoyment of their right to protection against discrimination and finds the action by Colorado voters repugnant and worthy of condemnation.

Sincerely,

Louise A. Tilly
President

Dear Concerned Citizen:

Thank you for informing me of your views regarding the recent voter approval of Amendment 2.

As you undoubtedly know, I opposed Amendment 2 when it was proposed and I remain personally opposed to this measure. However, as Governor of Colorado, I have an obligation to enforce its provisions and will do so.

I believe that the proponents of this amendment incorrectly presented it as preventing gays and lesbians from being granted special rights. The truth is that claim was merely a clouding of the issue. Factually, the issue involves making certain that all Colorado residents are treated equally under the law.

Sexual orientation should not be permitted to be used in this state as an excuse for denial of civil rights or employment opportunities. I believe that every American and every Coloradan should be protected against discrimination regardless of age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or race. And although Colorado will adhere to the law and its provisions, I will work hard to ensure it is not used as an excuse for discrimination.

I believe we must use this time of dispute to begin to build a better understanding among Colorado's people of the importance and value of diversity. It is that diversity that I believe makes Colorado a very special place to live. It also can help to make this state the kind of place where all people, including residents and visitors, are comfortable and treated with equality.

Sincerely,

Roy Romer
Governor
Colorado