Statement on State Senate’s Decision Not to Confirm LGBTQ to Colorado Civil Rights Commission

Today, the Colorado State Senate voted 18-17 on party lines against the confirmation of Heidi Hess, an LGBTQ Coloradan, to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission as a community-at-large member. One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families, released the following statement from Executive Director Daniel Ramos regarding this blatantly discriminatory vote.

“Heidi Hess — who is One Colorado’s part-time, Western Slope Field Organizer — has served on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for over 4 years, and currently as its chair. She has done exemplary work for the LGBTQ community and has advocated for Colorado’s most vulnerable populations time after time.

“It is extremely rare for a governor’s appointment to not be confirmed. In fact, when she was first confirmed in 2013, current senators Baumgardner, Crowder, Grantham, Hill, Lambert, Lundberg, and Marble all voted for her.

“As a proud, out lesbian, Heidi’s work has been crucial in building public support for civil unions and the freedom to marry on the Western Slope. Over the past decade, she has been responsible for building a connected and robust community of LGBTQ people and allies in her community. She is a committed advocate for LGBTQ equality, not only in Grand Junction, but in all corners the state. These things make her preeminently qualified to serve on the Civil Rights Commission.

“This vote reaffirms why the Colorado Civil Rights Commission exists in the first place — LGBTQ discrimination continues to exist, even in the branches of our own government. Currently, at least four of the commissioners are members of groups who have been or might be discriminated against because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, or age. Without Heidi on the commission, people living on the Western Slope will no longer have a voice or seat at the table. We call on the state senate to reconsider their vote and confirm Heidi who has been instrumental in achieving so much for Colorado.”