This collection contains invaluable items that document the LGBTQ+ community during one of the most historically important moments in Colorado history. Amendment 2 was a landmark initiative that took away protections for people based on their sexual orientation. Colorado voters approved Amendment 2 in 1992 by a slim margin of 53%. Amendment 2 was the response by the conservative organization Colorado for Family Values after many cities in Colorado enacted anti-discrimination laws to protect the LGBT community. Amendment 2 amended the state constitution to rescind and prevent any town, city, or county from according protected status based on sexual orientation. In response to the passage of the amendment, many organizations formed to fight to have the amendment overturned. Among these organizations, such as The Gay and Lesbian Fund and the Gill Foundation, were EPOColorado (Equal Protection Campaign) and CLIP (Colorado Legal Initiatives Project).
The collection contains many items from EPOColorado, such as photographs and an invitation for fundraisers and No On 2 buttons and a paperweight. CLIP items include the original application for recognition, financial statements from 1993 and 1994 showing the amount of donations and operating costs, programs and awards handed out by CLIP as thank you pieces for time and donations.
This photograph depicts Mary Celeste receiving applause at a No On 2 Rally at the Colorado State Capitol.
Thanks to the generosity of the Gill Foundation, in October 2019 History Colorado hired the Gill Foundation Associate Curator of LGBTQ+ History to manage and expand History Colorado’s LGBTQ+ holdings and to develop the Gill Foundation LGBTQ Archive in recognition of the significant contributions of Tim Gill to the state of Colorado. All LGBTQ+ acquisitions from 2019 through 2021 reflect the support of the Gill Foundation.
Dedicated to documenting the varied experiences of all Coloradans, History Colorado and the Gill Foundation initiated the LGBTQ Collecting Initiative to proactively build a research archive that preserves and promotes the contributions, history, and voices of Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community.
Frank Brown is a long-time Colorado resident who has been married for twenty-four years and is now retired. Frank was a flight attendant, this let him get involved with activism as his schedule and travel benefits let him travel to different events around the country and he could dedicate time for EPOColorado and CLIP. After the passage of Amendment 2 Frank was so upset and appalled that such an initiative would pass, he wanted to do something about it. His neighbor worked the organization EPOColorado and Frank asked what he could do to help. He began by volunteering for EPOColorado and also volunteered with CLIP, Colorado Legal Initiatives Project, eventually becoming the organization's executive director. Frank worked closely with the LGBTQ+ community and legal team that fought for Amendment 2 to be overturned. This is when he worked with Jean Dubosfsky, the lead attorney on the case, and acquired part of his collection during this time. All items in this collection Frank acquired over the many years of his work to get Amendment 2 ruled unconstitutional. All of his hard work paid off on May 20, 1996, when SCOTUS ruled, 6-3, that Colorado’s Amendment 2 was unconstitutional. That was one of the happiest days of Frank’s life.