Last week, Colorado Republicans in the state senate launched an attack on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Led by some of the most notoriously anti-equality members of the Colorado legislature, Three Republicans on the powerful Joint Budget Committee voted in a bloc to halt the commission’s funding with no explanation, and certainly no precedent.
It’s not happening in a vacuum. Right now the Colorado Civil Rights Division is involved in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case over discrimination by a baker in Lakewood, Colorado against a same-sex couple. Two of the three Republicans on the committee that voted against funding the Civil Rights Division are Senators Kevin Lundberg and Kent Lambert. Sen. Lundberg actually thanked Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis for “abiding by the laws of God” after Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  Sen. Lambert claimed civil unions are a “mind-control experiment” to force Coloradans “to believe in homosexual marriage.” 
This is unfortunately not new here. Colorado has worked for decades to shake off the reputation as a “hate state” after the passage of the unconstitutional Amendment 2 anti-LGBT ballot measure in 1992. But as you can see, the work is not over, and the forces of bigotry and division aren’t done trying to take us backwards.
Action item #1 this week: join us TOMORROW at the Colorado Capitol to an emergency rally to save the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Then stick around to testify in favor of protecting everyone from discrimination in our great state.
What: Rally to Save the Colorado Civil Rights Division
Where: Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Tuesday, February 13 at 12:30PM
Thanks for taking action on such short notice. Here are many more great ways to fight back for the week of February 12:
The Question of Palestine in the Age of Post-Arab Nationalism
Bassem Hassan has a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Denver. He teaches International Relations and Middle East Politics at the University of Colorado Denver. Dr. Hassan spent much of December and January in Egypt, so we can expect that his talk will be informed by some very recent observations.
Where: Friends of Sabeel – Colorado, Denver
When: Monday, February 12 at 7:00pm
SB 40 Harm Reduction Bill Package
We have a senate committee assignment for February 14th in room SCR 357! We are assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs. If you can’t make it on February 5th or you’re just interested in this event, we need you calling and emailing TODAY in support of SB 40 to get on their radar. Harm Reductionists, you know what to do.
Where: Colorado State Capitol 200 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Wednesday, February 14 at 1:30pm
Atlantis Community: Screening Party of The Gang of 19: ADA Movement
You’re invited to a screening party! Rocky Mountain PBS produced a documentary about the beginnings of Atlantis Community and ADAPT. The documentary shows how 19 people with disabilities made history and paved the path for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Join us as we watch this incredible piece of the Colorado Experience. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the film starts at 7:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be available.
Where: Atlantis Community, Inc., 201 S Cherokee St, Denver
When: Thursday, February 15 at 6:00pm
RTD Open House – District O w/ Director Sisk
RTD is hosting a series of open houses throughout the service area in January and February to discuss transportation projects and to gather feedback from our riders.
Where: Louisville Public Library, 951 Spruce St, Louisville
When: Thursday, February 15 at 6:00pm
Strengthening Democracy Colorado Monthly Meeting
Join us for a general meeting with updates on our activity with our local coalition partners and upcoming ranked choice voting initiative.
Where: Hooked on Colfax, 3213 E Colfax Ave, Denver
When: Thursday, February 15 at 7:00pm
Rep. Mike Weissman: Town Hall on Criminal Justice Reform
Colorado spends more than $1 billion annually on our correctional system yet we are in the bottom 10 states in K-12 education investment and even lower in higher education investment. Join our town hall to hear about alternative public safety strategies that can be more effective and less expensive.
Where: Community College of Aurora, 16000 E Centretech Pkwy, Aurora
When: Thursday, February 15 at 7:00pm
Spring 2018 Southern Colorado GSA Leadership Summit
The One Colorado GSA Network will be hosting the Southern Colorado GSA Leadership Summit on February 17th! At the 2018 Southern Colorado GSA Leadership Summit, we will share best practices for creating and supporting effective GSA programs and empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students to be leaders in their community. Students (middle school, high school, and college-aged), educators, and parents who are passionate about creating safe, inclusive learning environments are all welcome and encouraged to attend. This is a FREE event and this year’s theme is ‘It Starts With Us’ to remind us that we all have the power to make change in our community.
Where: UCCS, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs
When: Saturday, February 17 at 8:30am
Sen. Rachel Zenzinger: State Legislative Town Hall Meeting
The topic will be mental health and will include speakers from the Jefferson Center for Mental Health, the Colorado Department of Human Services, and others. They will discuss the strengthening of Colorado’s statewide response to mental and behavioral health, including the crisis system.
Where: Standley Lake Public Library, 8485 Kipling Street, Arvada
When: Saturday, February 17 at 10:30am
Town Hall Meeting: How We Protect Our Public Lands
Please join Representatives Brittany Pettersen and Chris Kennedy and Senators Andy Kerr and Cheri Jahn for our regular third Saturday town hall meeting. This month we’ll be discussing how we protect our public lands. We will be joined by Josh Kuhn (Conservation Colorado), Jordan Vana (Colorado Open Lands), and John Litz (PlanJeffco/Jeffco Open Space). Join us!
Where: West Metro Fire Rescue, 433 S Allison Pkwy, Lakewood
When: Saturday, February 17 at 10:00am
Indivisible Highlands Ranch: White Allyship-An afternoon with Eleanor Hubbard of CU Boulder
Eleanor presented to us last spring/summer on white as a racial category. This year we will hear more on being white allies. Eleanor Hubbard, Ph.D. is retired faculty from CU Boulder. Her expertise is race, class, gender and sexual orientation.
Where: Douglas County Libraries (Highlands Ranch, CO), 9292 S Ridgeline Blvd, Highlands Ranch
When: Saturday, February 17 at 2:00pm
Boulder County Fracking Update
Within the next 12 weeks, two oil companies are to receive drilling permits from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to drill 196 fracking wells across wide expanses of Boulder’s Open Space. There is a legal path to win on this – but it requires Community Action. Please come to a free presentation by the founders of Hold Our Ground and members of the Sierra Club O&G Team to learn about this threat and what we can do to stop this travesty.
Where: Boulder Creek Room, Boulder Public Library
When: Sunday, February 18 at 4:00pm
Discussion With Dr. Bob Barney on the Olympics in Colorado
Join us for a discussion with Dr. Robert Knight Barney, PhD, at The Source located in the RiNo (River North) district of Denver. Pizza will be provided! Dr. Barney has published some 295 pieces on sport history, more than 150 of them in the field of Olympic history. He served as President of the North American Society for Sport History (1990-1992), as Executive Council Member of the International Society of Olympic History (1998-2008), and Director of the International Centre for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario, an institution at which he continues to be active.
Where: 3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver
When: Sunday, February 18 at 5:30pm
Again, news happens fast–so please keep your inbox open for updates and breaking news this week. Thanks again for everything you’ve done and will continue to do to fight back in defense of our shared values. See you next week!