Lambda Legal celebrates the 20th anniversary of historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Colorado's Amendment 2, Romer v. Evans:
The infamous Amendment 2 prohibited the state and its political subdivisions from providing lesbians, gay men and bisexuals any legal protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It was a reaction to the efforts by several Colorado municipalities to enact anti-discrimination ordinances to protect their LGB residents.
When decided, Romer v. Evans was the single most positive Supreme Court ruling in the history of the gay rights movement. The Court’s ruling made clear that lesbians, gay men and bisexuals have the same right to seek government protection against discrimination in the United States as any other group of people.
The decision also marked a new level of legal respect for LGBT people and rejected the notion that it is legitimate for the government to discriminate against gay people based on moral objections to homosexuality. It is a precedent whose influence can be traced through every momentous subsequent decision, and it informs our work today as we fight back against continuing efforts to enshrine discrimination. Indeed, faithful application of the controlling principles enunciated in Romer requires that the preemption provisions contained in North Carolina’s HB2 likewise be found unconstitutional.
Today, as we look at the challenges in front of us, we reflect on the 20 years of precedent at our back and take comfort. We’ve been here before, we handled it then, and we’re committed to continuing to protect LGBT people, now and in the future.