ACLU NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE ACLU National Board Endorse

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ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU * ACLU NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE * NEWS RELEASE ACLU National Board Endorses Colorado Boycott; Joins Push For Repeal of Discriminatory Amendment 2 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 27, 1993 NEW YORK -- The 83-member national Board of the American Civil Liberties Union has overwhelmingly endorsed the economic boycott of Colorado to protest a measure that strips gay men, lesbians and bisexuals of their civil rights. With passage of Amendment 2 on the November ballot, Colorado became the first state to seek to make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation expressly part of its constitution. "Prejudice must be repudiated in a free, democratic society," said Nadine Strossen, ACLU President. "The American system of government is built on the premise that the power of a majority must not eliminate individual rights." In a related development, the ACLU's national Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, the ACLU of Colorado, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Colorado Legal Initiative Project (CLIP) have obtained an injunction preventing the measure from taking effect. State Judge H. Jeffrey Bayless ruled that a "reasonable probability" exists that Amendment 2 will be found unconstitutional after trial. As court battles loom, the ACLU's endorsement of the boycott is a way to focus attention on the repercussions of codifying intolerance. If Amendment 2 were to be upheld, there would be no legal recourse for gay men, lesbians or bisexuals attempting to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, education, housing or any other context in Colorado. No state law or policy could even recognize the existence of a gay minority among Colorado citizens. Those advocating equal civil rights for gay men, lesbians and bisexuals could only participate in politics at the state-wide initiative level and would be cut out from all more local avenues of redress. The ACLU's Board urged ACLU members, affiliates and all other individuals or organizations to endorse the boycott and otherwise help overturn Amendment 2. In taking this action, the national ACLU is joining the ACLU of Southern California, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and several major corporations, religious organizations and Hollywood celebrities in announcing its public opposition to Amendment 2. Nine major cities -- Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Seattle and Austin -- have either restricted travel to the state or banned the purchase of Colorado products and services. Amendment 2 and the fight against such measures also has prompted the ACLU to further step up and coordinate efforts to enact federal civil rights protection for gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals. "The threat to the civil liberties of one group places the rights of all Americans in jeopardy," the ACLU Board said in its resolution. --end-- ============================================================= ACLU Free Reading Room | A publications and information resource of the gopher://aclu.org:6601 | American Civil Liberties Union National Office ftp://aclu.org | mailto:infoaclu@aclu.org | "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"

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