As we have watched the evolution of the LGBTQ community when it comes to rights and protections that have been implemented and then stripped away, we can’t help but wonder what 2020 will hold for queer folks.
The first openly gay presidential candidate is exceeding expectations in the current Iowa caucus, which could be an indication that we are more ready than ever for an LGBTQ leader. However, there are House republicans who are actively seeking anti-LGBTQ legislation right here in the perceived sanctuary state. Where does that leave us? Where are we going? What happens next?
Here is a breakdown of the six anti-LGBTQ bills which have been introduced to the 72nd Colorado General Assembly as of February, 2020:
HB20-1273 prohibits sixth- through twelfth-grade trans women athletes from participating on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. If a student’s sex is in question, the bill requires the student to prove that she was assigned female at birth based on a signed physician’s statement that includes information about the student’s reproductive anatomy, levels of naturally occurring testosterone, and chromosome analysis.
HB20-1272 declares that existing Colorado law, which defines valid marriage as between one man and one woman, should be enforced as written—noting that the United States Supreme Court should refrain from imposing a redefinition of marriage on the entire country. The bill additionally restricts adoption to prospective parents whose marriage consists of one man and one woman.
HB 20-1114 is titled the “Protection of Minors from Mutilation and Sterilization.” If enacted, HB20-1114 would force doctors to violate existing standards of medical care for transgender patients—standards that are endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other leading medical authorities. It makes transgender-affirming healthcare for youth a felony 3 in Colorado, which carries up to 12 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.
HB20-1144 “Parental Rights” includes various aspects of a child’s upbringing, education, and healthcare. It allows parents to view all medical records and make health care decisions for children age 17 and younger. This makes it more difficult for LGBTQ youth to seek physical and mental healthcare services. At a time when teen suicide and depression are affecting Colorado youth at an alarming rate, this bill only makes the problem worse.
HB20-1033 Live and Let Live. This bill seeks to roll back protections for LGBTQ Coloradans in the areas of adoption and foster care, healthcare, housing, employment, and public spaces on the basis of religious freedom.
HB20-1063 Fundamental Family Rights raises the bar for the government to step in when children are abused or neglected by parents. This makes it more difficult for LGBTQ youth to escape non-affirming homes.
“This is the most aggressive slate of anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced in the past decade. In the first few weeks of this legislative session, we have seen attacks on transgender Coloradans, same-sex parents, LGBTQ youth, and the list goes on. These bills do not represent who we are as Coloradans, and One Colorado will fight these bills every step of the way,” said One Colorado’s Executive Director Daniel Ramos.
LGBTQ folks continue to be targets of the current administration, and the blatant homophobia that still exists in the country continues to grow and spread. As people feel more empowered to vocalize their distaste of queer folks, Colorado proves a conditional state in which the progress we have fought so hard to earn could easily be stripped away.
It’s for these reasons in which the upcoming primary elections ,as well as the November 2020 presidential election, are so important. Electing leaders who are here to protect and serve us all, and explicitly those who are within marginalized and intersectional demographics, is the most important thing we can do in order to preserve governmental as well as societal progress.