History of The Center's Legal & Advocacy program
The Challenge to Amendment 2
In 1992, members of Colorado's GLBT community founded a legal organization known as the "Colorado Legal Initiatives Project."
The original mission was to organize a legal challenge to the anti-gay amendment to Colorado's constitution known as Amendment 2. This measure would have precluded all legislative, executive, or judicial action at any level of state or local government in Colorado designed to protect LGBT people.
When Colorado voters passed Amendment 2 by a slim majority in November 1992, a statewide coalition led by CLIP promptly filed a lawsuit in state district court and obtained an injunction to prevent the measure from taking legal effect. A national coalition of civil rights groups joined CLIP in the lawsuit as it was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case later became known as Romer v. Evans, 517 U. S. 620 (1996). In this historic decision issued in May 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Amendment 2 was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
CLIP After Amendment 2
Despite the victory in Romer v. Evans, GLBT people and those with HIV have continued to experience discrimination, harassment, and unequal treatment. After 1996, CLIP expanded its efforts from the Amendment 2 lawsuit to serve as a general civil rights project for fair treatment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV status in Colorado.
In June 2000, CLIP merged with The Center and became known as “The Center’s Legal Initiatives Project.” The merger with The Center has ensured the continuity and stability of our efforts for equality, justice, and democracy. Recently, the name was changed to The Center's Legay & Advocacy Program.
In 2009, CLIP was renamed The Center's Legal and Advocacy program to better reflect the diversity of services our legal program provides.
For more information about the history of CLIP and Amendment 2, see A Brief History of CLIP (Microsoft Word format).