HB 1108: Gender Identity Expression Anti-discrimination Is Signed Into Law!

This morning, at the State Capitol, Governor Jared Polis signed HB21-1108 “Gender Identity Expression Anti-discrimination” into law. This straightforward legislation amends the current definition of Sexual Orientation along with adding the terms Gender Identity & Gender Expression into the 48 areas of state law that prohibit discrimination against members of a protected class. Sponsored by two members of the LGBTQ Caucus; House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar & Senator Dominick Moreno, the new law affirms how individuals truly see and describe themselves today in addition to providing much need clarity to our courts, employers and within our laws. You can watch the brief bill signing ceremony here.

Today also happens to be the 25th anniversary of the U.S Supreme Court’s historic 6-3 ruling overturning Amendment 2 in Colorado’s constitution through Romer v. Evans. Amendment 2 to our state constitution made it illegal for the General Assembly and local governments to pass any law that included the LGBTQ community as part of a protected class. Shortly after voters approved the Amendment in 1992 Colorado began to be known around the nation as the “Hate State”. When the Court issued its ruling back in 1996, the possibility of having a law in Colorado to protect Gender Identity & Gender Expression while also being seen as a leader in the nation on LGBTQ rights was merely a hopeful wish. Particularly this year as we continue to witness the rise of harmful bigoted legislation being signed into law in state capitol across the country, today should serve as a good reminder that change does happen. And that change comes from activists who 25 years ago believed there was a better path for Colorado just as you do today through your support of One Colorado’s work.

“One Colorado recognizes the importance of protecting all in the LGBTQ community. Defining gender expression and gender identity sends a clear message that our non-binary, transgender, and gender expansive community members deserve to be seen, heard and live authentically without consequence in the State of Colorado. Although this is a win for Coloradans, we will need to focus on the Equality Act to ensure all in our community, across the Nation, are protected. Thank you to Majority Leader Esgar, Senator Moreno, and our Policy Director, Michael Crews for making this possible!”
Nadine Bridges, One Colorado Executive Director

“Equality won today! Today’s bill signing represents a big step toward a future where every Coloradan is treated equally, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. We’ve come a long way since the days of being called the ‘hate state’, and I’ll keep working to ensure we never go back.”
Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, Co-Prime Sponsor

“I’m proud to serve my community in a state that values equality. By modernizing our laws to make sure that all people are protected from discrimination based on their sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, we are sending a clear message that everyone is valued and welcomed in Colorado.”
Senator Dominick Moreno, Co-Prime Sponsor