ADL: SUPREME COURT STRIKING DOWN COLORADO
ANTI-GAY AMENDMENT IS A LANDMARK DECISION
New York, NY, May 20, 1996...The Anti-Defamation League today hailed the U.S.
Supreme Court decision in Romer v. Evans, striking down Colorado's anti-gay
Amendment as a "landmark decision" and "a major victory in
the ongoing struggle against all forms of bigotry and discrimination."
ADL National Chairman David H. Strassler and National Director Abraham H.
Foxman issued the following statement:
We are pleased and gratified that the Supreme Court has rejected the effort
to deny Colorado's gays and lesbians the protection of anti-discrimination
laws. This is a momentous decision of national significance, and a welcome
reaffirmation that equal protection means equal protection for all.
Supporters of Colorado's Amendment 2 claimed it was a neutral law intended
to treat gays and lesbians equally with other citizens and deny them special
rights. In fact, this insidious Amendment sought a special license to discriminate
against gays, and to bar them from even being allowed to seek legal protection
available to all other Coloradans.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, was right on target when
he noted that "a law declaring that in general it shall be more difficult
for one group of citizens than for all others to seek aid from the government
is itself a denial of equal protection of the laws in the most literal sense."
He also demonstrated an awareness of the bias underlying this Amendment,
citing the "inevitable inference that the disadvantage imposed is born
of animosity toward the class of persons affected."
Recognizing the landmark nature of this decision and particularly its importance
for countless Americans who have been victims of discrimination because
of their sexual orientation, our enthusiasm over the Supreme Court's decision
is marred only by Justice Scalia's unfortunate reference, in his dissent,
to the efforts of a "geographically concentrated and politically powerful
minority" to "undermine" the majority's effort to "preserve
its view of sexual morality." As the majority ringingly determined,
this is a case about discrmination, not sexual morality.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.