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.
Amendment 2 items include the most interesting and important item, the original legal brief of the arguments against Amendment 2 filed with the United States Supreme Court, October Term, 1994. A letter from the SCOTUS office clerk with instructions for attorneys for the day of the hearings is included with the brief. Jean Dubofsky, lead attorney who argued the case before SCOTUS signed the brief in addition to five pieces of ephemera. In 1979, Dubosfsky became the first woman and youngest person, at 37 years of age, to become a Colorado Supreme Court Justice. Dubosfsky was also the Deputy Attorney General for Colorado from 1975 to 1979. CLIP put together a thank you book full of over 3600 signatures and messages for Dubosfsky, CLIP gathered the signatures at PrideFest in 1996 in a booth they advertised in Out Front. The original advertisement and all 3632 signatures and messages are included.
There are nine t-shirts that include; one “UN DO 2, CLIP” signed by Jean Dubosfsky, two 1993 March on Washington, one Gay Games IV, Unity ’94, New York City, four AIDS Walk participation t-shirts from 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1996 and one “Speak Out.”
Objects include one set of “Freedom Rings” on a chain, “No on 2” paperweight, glass CLIP thank you plaque, 18 buttons that include support for “No on 2”, “No AIDS”, AIDS Walk Colorado, PrideFest 1992, and one “Vote NO! To End Discrimination in Portland” button. In addition, there are pieces of ephemera, one book, and seven VHS tapes with March on Washington or Amendment 2 subject matter.
Two items are pro Amendment 2. A copy of a letter from Kevin Tebedo, executive director of Colorado for Family Values thanking everyone for their help with the passage of Amendment 2. One pamphlet of homophobic text, “Death Penalty for Homosexuals is Prescribed in the Bible,” written by Pastor Peter J. Peters in support of Amendment 2.
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.