Yet Amendment 2, in explicit terms, does more than repeal or rescind these provisions. (b) In order to reconcile the Fourteenth Amendment's promise that no person shall be denied equal protection with the practical reality that most legislation classifies for one purpose or another, the Court has stated that it will uphold a law that neither burdens a fundamental right nor targets a suspect class so long as the legislative classification bears a rational relation to some independent and legitimate legislative end. Hall. Although its golden arches attest to serving over one billion customers worldwide, do you know where the first McDonald’s restaurant was located? At the time, three cities had local laws that were impacted by the amendment: Denver, Boulder, and Aspen. In November 1992, 53 percent of the voters of Colorado approved the controversial amendment. corded equal treatment under the laws, but cannot as readily as others obtain preferential treatment under the laws, has been denied equal protection of the laws. The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed on appeal. IV, §§28-91 to 28-116 (1991). III, § 1. 1995); N. J. Stat. and the judgment of the Supreme Court of Colorado is affirmed. Grab ahold of various geographic facts—not Big Macs—in this quiz. 626-636. *Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed for the State of Alabama et al. The Colorado Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s ruling, finding the amendment unconstitutional. The resulting disqualification of a class of persons from the right to seek specific protection from the law is unprecedented in our jurisprudence. Romer v. Evans, legal case in which the U.S. Supreme Court on May 20, 1996, voided (6–3) an amendment to the Colorado state constitution that prohibited laws protecting the rights of homosexuals. Gay and lesbian groups now believed that they could secure a reversal of Bowers, and they set out to find the right test case. "The 'ultimate effect' of Amendment 2 is to prohibit any governmental entity from adopting similar, or more protective statutes, regulations, ordinances, or policies in the future unless the state constitution is first amended to permit such measures." That opinion said: "[A]dverse impact will not always lead to a finding of impermissible targeting. Pp. Personnel Administrator of Mass. Jean E. Dubofsky argued the case on behalf of the respondents. Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the State of Oregon et al. Code § 12-1-1(j) (1987). The legislature had repealed its sodomy statute, ending the criminalization of homosexual activity throughout the state. The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that no state shall "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." "A facial challenge to a legislative Act is, of course, the most difficult challenge to mount successfully, since the challenger must establish that no set of circumstances exists under which the Act would be valid." insufficient in many instances, and it was settled early that the Fourteenth Amendment did not give Congress a general power to prohibit discrimination in public accommodations, Civil Rights Cases, 109 U. S. 3, 25 (1883). There is a problem, however, which arises when criminal sanction of homosexuality is eliminated but moral and social disapprobation of homosexuality is meant to be retained. 11-12. Justice Antonin Scalia dissented, joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas. Also repealed, and now forbid-. The problem (a problem, that is, for those who wish to retain social disapprobation of homosexuality) is that, because those who engage in homosexual conduct tend to reside in disproportionate numbers in certain communities, see Record, Exh. Amendment 2 would have far-reaching consequences, Justice Kennedy wrote. That statement was premised, however, on the proposition that "[the] four characteristics [described in the Amendment-sexual orientation, conduct, practices, and relationships] are not truly severable from one another because each provides nothing more than a different way of identifying the same class of persons." Tribe, pro se, John Hart Ely, pro se, Philip. Even though a closely divided Supreme Court in 2000 would uphold the right of the Boy Scouts to keep gays out of leadership positions (Boy Scouts of America v. Dale), Romer showed that a majority of the court no longer shared the sentiment that had seemingly animated Bowers. Id., at 346-347 (emphasis added). Each characteristic provides a potentially different way of identifying that class of persons who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. It would not be enough for respondents to establish (if they could) that Amendment 2 is unconstitutional as applied to those of homosexual "orientation"; since, under Bowers, Amendment 2 is unquestionably constitutional as applied to those who engage in homosexual conduct, the facial challenge cannot succeed. Amendment 2 confounds this normal process of judicial review. Padula v. Webster, 822 F.2d 97, 103 (1987).) After various Colorado municipalities passed ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment, education, public accommodations, health and welfare services, and other transactions and activities, Colorado voters adopted by statewide referendum "Amendment 2" to the State Constitution, which precludes all legislative, executive, or judicial action at any level of state or local government designed to protect the status of persons based on their "homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships." Amendment 2, in addition, nullifies specific legal protections for this targeted class in all transactions in housing, sale of real estate, insurance, health and welfare services, private education, and employment. Justice Kennedy opened his decision with the following statement: In order to determine whether or not the amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the justices applied strict scrutiny. IV, §§28-91 to -116 (1991) (same); Executive Order No. Evans was not alone in the suit. by Stephen V. Bomse, Martha Minow, and Frances A. Koncilja; for the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia by Cletus P. Lyman; for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., et al. By getting rid of these "special rights" and ensuring that ordinances could not be passed in the future to create them, the state had ensured that anti-discrimination laws would be generally applicable to all citizens. Municipal Code §§ 12-1-1 to 12-1-11 (1987); Denver Rev. In our view that does not resolve the issue. Leading up to the 1990s, political groups advocating for gay and lesbian rights had made progress in the state of Colorado. One century ago, the first Justice Harlan admonished this Court that the Constitution "neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens." See Aspen Municipal Code § 13-98 (1977); Boulder Rev. See Richardson v. Ramirez, 418 U. S. 24 (1974). This analysis, which is fully in accord with (indeed, follows inescapably from) the text of the constitutional provision, lays to rest such horribles, raised in the course of oral argument, as the prospect that assaults upon homosexuals could not be prosecuted. But in any event it is a given in the present case: Respondents' briefs did not urge overruling Bowers, and at oral argument respondents' counsel expressly disavowed any intent to seek such overruling, Tr. But the Court cannot afford to make this argument, for as I shall discuss next, there is no doubt of a rational basis for the substance of the prohibition at issue here. den, are "various provisions prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation at state colleges."
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