Marriage Equality USA

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Ballot Initiatives - Passed

Colorado Amendment 43 (Initiative 43)

Purpose of Ballot Measure: To define marriage in Colorado as only a union between one man and one woman. 
Date Passed:
7 November 2006


  • A referendum approved 56% by the voters in 2006 that added a new section to Article II of the Colorado Constitution to define marriage in Colorado as only a union between one man and one woman. 
  • Amendment 43 was one of two statewide measures that Colorado voters faced in the November 2006 election that dealt with the definition of marriage and civil partnerships. The other, Referendum I, would have authorized domestic partnerships, but it was defeated.
Colorado Amendment 2 - No Protected Status for Sexual Orientation (Initiative 2)

Purpose of Ballot Measure: To amend the Colorado Constitution to prevent gay and lesbian people being recognized as a protected class.
Date Passed: 
3 November 1992 - ruled unconstitutional in 1996


  • Amendment 2 is notorious within the LGBTQ community. It was a referendum passed by the CO voters, by a vote of 53% to 47%, in 1992. Amendment 2 would have amended the Colorado state constitution to prevent any city, town, or county in the state from taking any legislative, executive, or judicial action to recognize gay and lesbian individuals as a protected class. 
  • The amendment stated: Neither the State of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the Constitution shall be in all respects self-executing.
  • The passage of Amendment 2 resulted in a historic legal case and landmark ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States. (See Romer v. Evans under Lawsuits-Resolved above). On 20 May 20 1996, SCOTUS ruled 6-3 that Colorado's Amendment 2 was unconstitutional. 
  • NOTE: In 2007, fifteen years after the referendum on Amendment 2, the Colorado legislature amended its anti-discrimination law by forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in employment. In 2008, Colorado further expanded its LGBT protections to include housing, public accommodation, and advertising.

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