Romer v. Evans

517 U.S. 620
Brief Filed: 6/95
Court: Supreme Court of the United States
Year of Decision: 1996

Read the full-text amicus brief (PDF, 550KB)

Issue

Whether an enacted state constitutional amendment prohibiting the state and all local governmental entities from enacting, adopting or enforcing any law or policy protecting lesbians, gay men and bisexuals from discrimination violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it burdens the fundamental right of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals to seek such legal protections

Index Topic

Sexual Orientation

Facts

In 1992, Colorado voters approved an amendment to their state constitution that would prohibit the enforcement of any law giving homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships any entitlement to minority status, quota preference, or protected status or claim of discrimination. The amendment was challenged and the Colorado Supreme Court upheld an injunction against the implementation of the amendment because it infringed on homosexuals' fundamental rights to participate equally in the political process. The state petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari, claiming that the Colorado Supreme Court had invented a new constitutional right.

APA's Position

APA's brief presented the scientific literature supporting the arguments that homosexual persons are an identifiable group that has endured invidious discrimination and political powerlessness, and that homosexuality is an immutable characteristic.

Results

The U.S. Supreme Court held that the amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it was not rationally related to its stated purpose.