Romer v. Evans

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Romer v. Evans
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Date decided May 20, 1996
Appealed from Colorado Supreme Court


Roy Romer (1928 - ) was a Governor of Colorado (1987 - 1999).

In the 1990s, cities across the United States had started passing ordinances to protect LGB residents to protect them in housing, education, public accommodations, and health services. In opposition to this, in 1992, the citizens of Colorado approved a referendum ("Amendment 2") to reverse course.

LGBT and allies sued Romer to invalidate Amendment 2.

Procedural History

LGBT and allies sued Romer to invalidate Amendment 2.


Were LGBT people historically under-represented in American society in the 1990s?

Can LGBT people be subjected to arbitrary treatment in light of Amendment 2 banning LGBT protections in Colorado?


Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that Amendment 2 imposed a sweeping disability on LGBT people based on a single characteristic, that is, their gender trait (sexual orientation).

Amendment 2 "It imposes a broad disability upon those persons alone, forbidding them, but no others, to seek specific legal protection from injuries caused by discrimination in a wide range of public and private transactions."


Amendment 2 (repealing LGBT protections) wasn't rationally related to a legitimate state purpose.

Amendment 2 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.