United States of America


Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
  Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Estates, Wills
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
  Hate Crimes
Health, Medical
Inheritance, Succession
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Retirerment Plans
Transgender, Transsexual
Wrongful Death

Please read the Disclaimer

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References


Consensual sex between same-sex couples is lawful at 17 years.

The Criminal Code: 18-3-402. Sexual assault, provides -

(1) Any actor who knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim commits sexual assault if:

(a) The actor causes submission of the victim by means of sufficient consequence reasonably calculated to cause submission against the victim's will; or

(b) The actor knows that the victim is incapable of appraising the nature of the victim's conduct; or

(c) The actor knows that the victim submits erroneously, believing the actor to be the victim's spouse; or

(d) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is less than fifteen years of age and the actor is at least four years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim; or

(e) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is at least fifteen years of age but less than seventeen years of age and the actor is at least ten years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim; or

(f) The victim is in custody of law or detained in a hospital or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim and uses this position of authority to coerce the victim to submit, unless the act is incident to a lawful search; or

(g) The actor, while purporting to offer a medical service, engages in treatment or examination of a victim for other than a bona fide medical purpose or in a manner substantially inconsistent with reasonable medical practices; or

(h) The victim is physically helpless and the actor knows the victim is physically helpless and the victim has not consented.

R1.1 Michie's Legal Resources: Colorado Revised Statutes (accessed May 2009)
Aging, Bioethics, Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References


On 07 March 2017, all 37 state House Democrats and one Republican voted in favor of sending Bill HB-1156 to ban gay conversion therapy to the Republican-controlled Senate [R1.3].

On 18 March 2013, the Department of Regulatory Agencies issued a bulletin clarifying that health insurance providers in Colorado cannot discriminate against patients due to their sexual orientation or gender identity [D1.2], [R1.1].

R1.3 TheColoradoStateman: Colorado bill to ban gay conversion therapy clears House 07 MAR 17
R1.2 Bulleting No. 4.49: Insurance Unfair Practices Act Prohibitions on Discrimination Based Upon Sexual Orientation PDF 123.5kb, 18 MAR 13
R1.1 The Advocate: Colorado Health Insurance Providers Can't Discriminate on Orientation, Gender Identity 26 MAR 13
Annuities, Pensions, Retirement, Superannuation Legislation/Cases/References


On 24 July 2013, it was suggested that retirement plans sponsored by Colorado governmental employers will cover same-sex couples. Guidance as to whether federal tax law does likewise is awaited from the IRS [R1.1].

R1.1 Montaq: Effect Of Colorado Civil Union Act And Windsor Decision On Colorado Retirement Plans 24 JUL 13
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References

Courts & Tribunals

In 2002, the Colorado Supreme Court was reported to have previously endorsed the idea of a psychological parent, a doctrine that "addresses the realities of children's emotional lives - the bond that forms as a result of the love, attention, care and protection provided to a child by an adult as opposed to a legally conferred designation as a 'parent'" [R1.5].

Courts have awarded parenting time to significant people in a child's life, such as grandparents or stepparents [R1.5].

On 30 August 2001, the three-judge Colorado Court of Appeals said state law allows restrictions on parenting time only if a child's physical, mental or emotional health is endangered, ruling parenting time in custody cases may not be restricted because of sexual orientation [R1.4].

The court overturned a decision by Douglas County District Judge Thomas J. Curry, who barred a bisexual father from taking his 9-year-old daughter to a predominantly gay church and from having overnight guests [R1.4].

On 10 July 2001, upon separation of a lesbian couple, Magistrate Diane Dupree found that both women were mothers of the child, who was adopted in China, and gave each woman equal parenting time and joint decision-making responsibilities [R1.5].


On 25 March 1996, the Denver District Court ordered joint custody to the lesbian couple who adopted a child in China [R1.5].

In February 2000, Adams County Magistrate Theresa A. Spahn temporarily ordered Carilyn Hanggee and Martie Dufour, Baby K's biological aunt, to share time with Baby K's heterosexual mother and father [R1.3].

In August 1999, Jefferson County district judge Christopher Munch ordered Girl M live with her mother, Kelly Naylor, in Albany during the school year and to spend her summers and half her winter breaks with the woman she calls "Nana,'' Leanne Bueker [R1.2].


In 1998, District Judge Frank Plaut awarded Bueker and Cunningham joint custody of Girl M, whom Cunningham had by in-vitro fertilization, calling Bueker her "psychological'' mother and Cunningham her "biological'' mother [C1.1], [R1.1].

R1.5 Denver Rocky Mountain News: Momma vs. Mommy in Court 18 SEP 02
R1.4 Rocky Mountain News: Gay Parents Win Landmark Court Decision 05 NOV 01
R1.3 Denver Post: Judge Gives Baby's Aunts Shared Time 18 FEB 00
R1.2 Denver Post: 'Girl M' to Split Time with 2 Moms 26 AUG 99
C1.1 Bueker v. Cunningham No. 97-DR-861(Colorado Dist.Ct., Jefferson Co. Mar. 7, 1999)
R1.1 Denver Post: Custody Fight Landmark for Gays 07 MAR 99
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References


On 29 April 2016, the Republican controlled Senate voted unanimously (34-0, 1 absentee) to approve bill SB 16-150 that allows same-sex couples who have entered into a civil union to subsequently enter into a legally recognized marriage with each other. The effect of marrying in that circumstance is to merge the civil union into a marriage by operation of law, making a separate dissolution of a civil union unnecessary. The Bill also address the dissolution of such a marriage and on 02 May was introduced to the House [L1.27], [R1.26].

On 12 March 2013, the House approved the Civil Union Act 39-26. With the Governor's signature (on 21 March 2013), the Act will come into force 01 May [R1.25].

On 08 March 2013, the Civil Union Act cleared the third and final committee (House Appropriations Committee) in a 9-4 vote and will now go before the full House for a vote next week [R1.24].

On 11 February 2013, the Civil Union Act Senate Bill SB 11 passed a formal vote 21–14. The House is expected to pass the Bill, with Gov. John Hickenlooper signing it into law in March, effective in May [R1.23].

On 08 February 2013, the Civil Union Act Senate Bill SB 11 passed its first vote 21–14. If it is passed in a formal vote on Monday it is goes on to the House where it is also expected to pass [R1.22].

On 09 January 2013, the Civil Union Act was in the Senate (SB13-011) and was expected to pass without delay by early spring. According to the bill, gay and lesbian couples will be able to form unions beginning 01 May [L1.21], [R1.20].

On 08 May 2012, the House rose before Senate Bill 2, (the civil unions legislation that would have afforded unmarried couples many of the same legal rights and benefits of marriage, including second-parent adoption, inheritance rights, and end-of-life and medical decision-making rights) could be brought to a vote [R1.19].

On 26 April 2012, the Senate voted 23–12 to pass legislation that would legalize same-sex civil unions in Colorado. The Bill now heads back to the House [R1.18].

On 17 April 2012, Senate Bill SB12-002 cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 5–4 party-line vote [L1.17].


On 16 February 2012, the Senate Finance Committee moved 4–3 to refer the Bill to the Committee on Appropriations. On 15 February 2012, the Senate Committee on Judiciary advanced a civil unions bill after a 5–2 vote [L1.17].

On 11 January 2012, Senate Bill SB12-002 (the Colorado Civil Union Act), was introduced in the Legislature, that if passed into law would grant gay and lesbian couples many of the same legal protections that heterosexual couples now enjoy [L1.17], [R1.16].

On 04 January 2012, the Civil Union Act of 2012 was expected to be introduced on the first day the General Assembly convenes 11 January 2012 [R1.15]

On 31 March 2011, the House Judiciary Committee killed the civil unions bill on a 6–5 party line vote that would have allowed gays and lesbians to make medical decisions for their partners and become eligible for insurance and retirement benefits [R1.14].

On 24 March 2011, the Senate approved 23–12 civil unions Senate Bill 172 that would allow same-sex couples the right to inherit property, apply for family leave and share medical decisions. The Bill now goes to the House [R1.13].

On 10 March 2011, the Senate Finance Committee approved civil unions Bill SB-172 on a 5–4 party-line vote. The Senate Appropriations Committee must also approve the measure before it could come up for a vote on the Senate floor [R1.12].

On 07 March 2011, the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee approved a civil unions bill SB-172 6–3. The bill moved on to the state senate appropriations committee, where it likely underwent further revision and debate before being voted on by the full senate [R1.11].

On 14 February 2011, Sen. Pat Steadman introduced legislation that would if passed legalize civil unions for same-sex couples and provide committed gay and lesbian couples with legal protections needed for health and family planning, including dissolution of relationship and the separation of property [R1.10].

In December 2010, State Senator Pat Steadman planned to introduce a bill next year to legalize civil unions, expecting it to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, but perhaps not the Republican-controlled House [R1.9].

On 01 July 2009, the Colorado Designated Beneficiary Agreements Act [House Bill 09-1260] came into force, granting unmarried couples limited rights, including making funeral arrangements for each other, receiving death benefits, and inheriting property without a Will, estate planning, property purchases, medical decisions and certain benefits such as life-insurance and retirement-plan disbursements [D1.8], [L1.7].

In May 2009, governor Bill Ritter discreetly signed Senate Bill 88, giving same-sex domestic partners of state employees the same benefits as spouses of heterosexual employees [R1.6].

On 07 November 2006, voters defeated 53% to 47% Referendum 1 to amend the Colorado revised statutes to authorize domestic partnerships under HB 06-1334 [R1.5].

In May 2006, the Senate passed House Bill 1344 that put the question of whether gay couples should enjoy the legal rights and benefits afforded married couples on the November 2006 ballot. The measure will return to the House, which was expected to back it. The referred ballot measure does not require Gov. Bill Owens' signature [R1.4].

On 01 March 2006, a Republican proposal to allow same-sex couples and others to receive some limited benefits was in limbo after a Colorado senate committee in Denver deadlocked over whether to support it [R1.3].

As at 19 December 2002, Colorado law does not include gay partners or their offspring among the list of dependents covered by health plans administered through the state's payroll system [R1.2].

In June 2002, Colorado University regents approved health care benefits for partners and dependents of homosexual employees [R1.1].

CU was the first state entity to offer partner benefits however, until the law is changed, the only staff to benefit will be faculty and exempt staff, such as administrative directors, who aren't affected by the law, since their benefits are handled directly through the university [R1.1].



Starting 1 January 2001, Summit County employees are entitled to the same health insurance coverage and other benefits. The county just the fourth governmental entity in the state to extend such benefits to same-sex couples [R2.1].

To receive the domestic partner benefits a county employee and his or her partner will be required to sign an affidavit proving they live together and share the financial burden of keeping a household. Such criteria range from joint ownership of a home, insurance policy or loan, or joint bank accounts and credit cards.

Benefits include the county's cafeteria health plan, leaves of absences, sick and emergency leave.

Additionally, the definition of immediate family will be expanded to include partners and their children.

The County of Denver employees are also entitled to similar coverage


Cities & Towns

On 09 October 2012. Pueblo City Council voted 6–1 to allow the city's gay workers to add domestic partners to the city's insurance programs [R3.8].


On 10 September 2012, Pueblo City Council rejected 5–1 a proposal that would have let city employees have same-sex domestic partners added to their insurance and other benefits, voting to review it in the future if the economy improves [R3.7].

On 01 November 2002, Glendale domestic partners of gay city employees could start applying for health coverage under the city's health plan [R3.6].

On 06 November 2002, Colorado Springs Council voted 5–4 to adopt a plan enabling employees to receive benefits from 01 January 2003 if they sign affidavits attesting they and their same-sex partner are financially dependent on each other [R3.5], [R3.4].

In April 2003 however, the plan ended, Mayor Lionel Rivera having put a resolution directing the hospital and utility directors and the city manager not to include the benefits in their 2004 budget proposals [R3.3].

The few people who signed up for the program continued getting insurance coverage but not after Dec. 31.

In November 2002, Colorado Springs Utilities was proposing to extend health benefits to gay partners of its employees, becoming the last branch of city government to do so. The Memorial Hospital board has also included benefits in their budget [R3.2].

On 29 November 1999, Denver City Council approved a registry for committed, unmarried couples [R3.1].

To qualify, each member of the couple must be unmarried, at least 18 years old and sharing the same household with a partner who is not a blood relative. The city's clerk and recorder's office will charge a US$25 filing fee to cover administrative costs. Couples will be required to notify the clerk's office if their partnerships dissolve.

L1.27 Bill: Senate Bill 16-150 PDF 127.36kb 29 APR 16
R1.26 CBS Denver: Republican-Controlled Senate Passes Bill That Helps Gay Couples 29 APR 16
R1.25 The Advocate: Colorado House Passes Civil Unions, Gov. Expected to Sign 12 MAR 13
R1.24 GayStarNews: Colorado civil unions bill heading to full House for vote 08 MAR 13
R1.23 DenverPost: Colorado Senate approves civil unions bill with final vote 11 FEB 13
R1.22 GayStarNews: Colorado civil unions bill passes crucial vote before full State Senate 08 FEB 13
L1.21 Colorado Civil Union Act PDF 129.35kb, 09 JAN 13
R1.20 LGBTQ Nation: Colorado governor calls for passage of same-sex civil unions bill 11 JAN 13
R1.19 The Advocate: Colorado Civil Unions Bill Dies in Procedural Impasse 09 MAY 12
R1.18 Fox31 Denver: Civil unions bill passes Senate, heads to House 26 APR 12
L1.17 Colorado General Assembly: Senate Bill 12-002 PDF 108.41kb, 10 JAN 12
R1.16 Fox31 Denver: Civil unions bill introduced in Colorado Legislature 13 JAN 12
R1.15 OutFront: Twists and turns aplenty as Colorado legislature wrestles with civil unions 04 JAN 12
R1.14 Reuters: Same-sex civil unions defeated in Colorado legislature 01 APR 11
R1.13 CNN: Colorado Senate passes civil unions bill 24 MAR 11
R1.12 Fox 31 Civil unions measure clears second Senate committee 10 MAR 11
R1.11 The Advocate: Colorado Advances Civil Unions Bill 08 MAR 11
R1.10 LGBT Nation: Colorado state senator introduces same-sex civil unions bill 14 FEB 11
R1.9 The Advocate: Civil Unions Bill to be Introduced in Colorado 16 DEC 10
D1.8 Designated Beneficiaries Law: Designated Beneficiary Agreement PDF 47.50kb
L1.7 House Bill 09-1260 PDF 97.95kb
R1.6 The Advocate: Colorado Governor Signs Partner Benefits Bill 21 MAY 09
R1.5 BallotPedia: Colorado Referendum I, Domestic Partnerships Act (2006)
R1.4 Scripps-McClatchy Western Service: Senate Passes Colorado Same-sex Couple Bill 03 MAY 06
R1.3 The Advocate: Colorado Domestic-partnership Bill in Limbo 01 MAR 06
R1.2 Denver Rocky Mountain News: CU takes on law restricting same-sex partners' benefits 19 DEC 02
R1.1 Denver Post: Colorado University Regents Approve Gay Partner Benefits 28 JUN 02
R2.1 Summit Daily News: County to Expand Benefits to Employees' Domestic Partners 27 JUL 01
R3.8 The Pueblo Chieftain: Pueblo City Council passes same-sex benefits 09 OCT 12
R3.7 NECN: Pueblo rejects same-sex partner benefits 11 SEP 12
R3.6 Denver Post: Health benefits to start Nov. 1 for Glendale gay partners 14 SEP 02
R3.5 Colorado Springs Gazette: Same-sex partners get city benefits 07 NOV 02
R3.4 Colorado Springs Gazette: City crafts benefit rules 09 NOV 02
R3.3 Colorado Springs Gazette: Same-sex benefits to go 17 APR 03
R3.2 Colorado Springs Gazette: Utilities proposes same-sex plan 18 NOV 02
R3.1 Denver Post: Registry a Victory for Gays, Elderly 30 NOV 99

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Discrimination Legislation/Cases/Documents/References


In late May 2008, Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado signed a nondiscrimination law that offers new legal protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals [R1.5].

In March 2003, state representatives removed a provision protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination by health care workers [R1.4].

On 17 April 2002, the Senate approved a bill that would bar employers from discriminating against gays and lesbians in hiring or employment [R1.3].

In May 2001, Colorado state adopted a policy of not discriminating in employment on the basis of sexual orientation [R1.2].

In April 2000, the House killed HB 1331, a bill that would have added sexual orientation as a basis for civil rights discrimination. Another bill, HB 1249, had been amended in the Senate to include a provision so that the gay-marriage ban didn't affect city or county laws or agreements between companies and their employees involving benefits for same-sex couples [R1.1].


Cities & Towns

In March 2010, a preschool student at a Catholic school in Boulder reportedly would not be allowed to return next school year because the student's parents are two women in a homosexual relationship [R2.2].

On 05 November 2001, the Denver City Council passed a new ordinance adding gender identity to those protected in employment, housing and health care [R2.1]. Previously, the anti-discrimination law included race, religion, age disabilities, sexual orientation and marital status.

"Gender Identity" is defined in the ordinance as a person's individual attributes that may not be in accord with one's physical anatomy, chromosomal sex, genitalia or sex assigned at birth. "Transgendered" is another term for people whose gender identity doesn't conform to their physical sex.


Courts & Tribunals

On 15 August 2018, it was reported that Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips of Lakewood is now suing Democratic Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and members of the state's Civil Rights Commission, seeking to stop anyone from enforcing a state public accommodations law against Phillips for declining to create cakes with messages that conflict with the religious beliefs he holds [C3.32], [R3.31].

On 04 June 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favour of Masterpiece Cakeshop finding the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's decision in favor of a gay couple who wanted a wedding cake violated constitutional rights not to base laws on ''hostility to a religion'' and was ''inconsistent with the state’s obligation of religious neutrality'' [C3.30], [R3.29].

On 05 December 2017, the US Supreme Court heard arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop, et al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, et al. case [C3.28].

On 30 October 2017, the US Supreme Court ordered ''The motion of Chris Sevier, who wants to be able to legally marry his laptop, et al. for leave to intervene (in the Masterpiece Cakeshop, et al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, et al. case.) is denied. The motion of John Gunter, Jr., et al. for leave to intervene is denied'' [C3.27], [R3.26].

On 06 October 2017, it was reported that the US Supreme Court has set 05 December as the day for oral arguments on whether a Colorado baker (in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission) has a First Amendment right to refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples over religious objections [R3.25].

On 29 September 2017, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a complaint against A&E Tire, Inc., alledging the company violated federal law by retracting a job offer and refusing to hire F2M male applicant Egan Joseph Woodward once it was discovered that he was transgender [C3.24], [R3.23].

On 26 June 2017, the US Supreme Court granted certiorari (a review) in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission ­ the Colorado case involving a Denver bakery that cited religious beliefs and refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple contrary to Colorado's civil rights law [C3.22], [R3.21].

On 05 April 2017, Judge Raymond P Moore in the US District Court for the District of Colorado ruled that the federal law barring housing discrimination protects LGBT people. The Federal Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to rent or sell housing to anyone because of “sex, familial status, or national origin [C3.20], [R3.19].

On 22 July 2016, a petition was filed in the US Supreme Court seeking review of last August's Colorado Court of Appeals decision rejecting the appeal in the Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc., and Jack C Phillips case [R3.18].

On 25 April 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court denied en banc the petitition for certiorari to hear an appeal of the judgment against Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc., and Jack C Phillips, brought by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Charlie Craig and David Milluns following the refusal of Phillips to sell a wedding cake to same-sex couple Craig and Mullins [C3.17], [R3.16].

On 31 December 2015, the State Court of Appeals found that the Colorado State Patrol intentionally discriminated against a former high-ranking officer when it denied him re-employment after agency leaders learned he is gay. However, the Court reversed a lower court decision to award former State Patrol Capt. Brett Williams almost $595,526 in front pay as state law does not permit the award. Williams will be allowed to keep $172,742 in back pay. Case remanded back to the state personnel board to review the damages awarded and question of Williams reinstatement [R3.15].

On 13 August 2015, Judge Taubman for the Court of Appeal affirmed the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's earlier decision that Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood and its owner, Jack Phillips, violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act when he declined to make a cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins' wedding reception in 2012 and that the order requiring Masterpiece not to discriminate against potential customers because of their sexual orientation does not force it to engage in compelled expressive conduct in violation of the First Amendment [C3.14], [R3.13].

On 03 April 2015, the Colorado Civil Rights Division reportedly ruled that the Azucar Bakery owner Marjorie Silva did not discriminate against William Jack's religion when she refused to decorate bible-shaped cakes showing two groomsmen with a red “x” over them and messages about homosexuality being a sin in March 2014, saying the shop had every right not to make the cakes because of the “derogatory” nature of the messages [R3.12].

On 22 July 2014, Director Steven Chavez determined in the claim by Vito Marzano against the Denver Wrangler, Inc., that the respondent violated Colo. Rev. Stat. §24-34-601(2) with respect to the claim of unlawful discrimination in a place of public accommodation by refusing Marzano entry because he was dressed in drag, ordering the parties to attempt amicable resolution by compulsory conciliation [D3.11], [R3.10].

On 30 May 2014, the seven-member Civil Rights Commission in a verbal ruling unanimously upheld an administrative law judge's finding in December that Jack Phillips violated civil rights law when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012, finding his religious objections to the practice did not trump the state’s anti-discrimination statutes [R3.9].

On 06 December 2013, Administrative Law Judge Robert N Spencer ruled that Masterpiece CakeShop unlawfully discriminated against Charlie Craig and David Mullins by refusing to sell them a wedding cake [C3.8], [R3.7].

On 16 July 2012, State Personnel Board judge Mary McClatchey ordered the State Patrol to include LGBT issues in diversity training and to appoint a senior officer as a liasion for gay and lesbian troopers, finding the Patrol had an 'anti-gay culture' [C3.6], [R3.5].

On 10 November 2011, a seven-member jury ruled in favor of the Summit County government in a discrimination lawsuit brought by a same-sex couple Jason Rodgers and James Hazel, who claimed officials delayed the construction of their house ultimately causing foreclosure. The case may be appealed [R3.4].

In November 2011, same-sex couple Jason Rodgers and James Hazel from Denver sued Summit County government, saying officials discriminated against them by telling them building permits are only issued to families and stalling the construction of their home, ultimately causing foreclosure [R3.3].

In April 2004, a federal judge awarded nearly $150,000 to a man who was fired by AT&T Broadband for refusing to sign a diversity policy requiring him to value the beliefs of others, including gays [R3.2].

On 20 May 1996, the United States Supreme Court struck down Amendment 2 of the Colorado constitution because it wrongly erected special legal hurdles that only applied to gays [C3.1], [R3.1].

R1.5 The Advocate: Colorado Enacts Gay Rights Law 31 MAY-02 JUN 08
R1.4 Associated Press: Bill Lets Doctors, Nurses Refuse To Treat Homosexuals 28 MAR 03
R1.3 The Advocate: Antidiscrimination Bill Passes Colorado Senate 18 APR 02
R1.2 Bloomington Herald-Times: State Adds Gays to Policy on Job Discrimination 07 AUG 01
R1.1 Rocky Mountain News: Gay-friendly Measures Killed 05 APR 00
2. Cities & Towns
R2.2 Gay couple's child denied re-enrollment at Catholic school 06 MAR 10
R2.1 Denver Rocky Mountain News: Law Protects Transgendered City Residents 06 NOV 01
3. Courts & Tribunals
C3.32 Complaint: Masterpiece Cakeshop Inc., and Jack Phillips v. Aubrey Elenic, et al. PDF 2.72MB 14 AUG 18
R3.31 TheColoradoIndependent: Christian cake maker in Lakewood is now suing Colorado in federal court 15 AUG 18
C3.30 Opinion: Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd, et al v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, et al. No. 16-111 PDF 273.49kb 04 JUN 18
R3.29 DenverPost: Key points from Supreme Court ruling on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
C3.28 Argument Transcript: Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd, et al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission No. 16-111 PDF 990.08kb 05 DEC 17
C3.27 Order List: 583 U.S.: Orders in Pending Cases No. 16-111 PDF 80.92kb 30 OCT 17 at page 1
R3.26 TheWashingtonTimes: Supreme Court refuses to hear from man who wants to marry his laptop 30 OCT 17
R3.25 WashingtonBlade: Supreme Court sets gay wedding cake arguments for Dec. 5 06 OCT 17
R3.24 EEOC v. A&E Tire, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:17cv-02362-STV
R3.23 US EqualOpportunityCommission (Press Release): A&E Tire Sued By EEOC for Sex-Based Discrimination Against Transgender Applicant 29 SEP 17
C3.22 Supreme Court: Order List: 582 U.S. PDF 237.11kb 26 JUN 17
R3.21 WindyCityTimes 26 June 2017 U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Anti-LGBT Bakery Case 26 JUN 17
C3.20 Order: Tonya Smith, Joseph Smith v. Deepika Avanti No. 16-cv-00091-RM-MJW PDF 388.54kb 05 APR 17
R3.19 TheWashingtonPost: Federal fair housing law protects LGBT couples, court rules for first time 06 APR 17
C3.18 GayCityNews: Cake Baker Refusenik Seeks Supreme Court Review 04 AUG 16
C3.17 Case Announcements: Petition for Write of Certiorari Denied: Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc and Jack C Phillips v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Charlie Craig and David Mullins 10 No. 14CA1351 at page 8, 25 APR 16
R3.16 ThinkProgress: Colorado Supreme Court Rejects Anti-Gay Baker’s Claim Of Religious Freedom 25 APR 16
R3.15 TheDenverPost: Colorado appeals court: State patrol discriminated against gay officer
C3.14 Order affirmed: Charlie Craig and David Mullins v. Masterpiece Cakeshop Inc., and Jack C Phillips No. 2015COA115 PDF 180.49kb, 13 AUG 15
R3.13 CNN: Court rules against Colorado cake shop in same-sex marriage case 13 AUG 15
R3.12 LGBTQnation: State: Colorado bakery did not discriminate by refusing to write 'God hates gays' on cake 04 APR 15
D3.11 Determination: Vito Marzano v. Denver Wrangler Inc P20140027X PDF 968.53kb, 22 JUL 14
R3.10 TheDenverPost: Denver's Wrangler bar discriminated when it turned away gay man dressed in drag 04 AUG 14
R3.9 LGBTQ Nation: Colorado civil rights panel: Baker must make cakes for same-sex ceremonies 30 MAY 14
C3.8 Initial Decision: Charlie Craig and David Mullins v. Masterpiece Cakeshop Inc & Anor CR 2013-0008 PDF 266.58kb, 06 DEC 13
R3.7 ACLU: Charlie Craig and David Mullins v. Masterpiece CakeShop 06 DEC 13
C3.6 State Personnel Board: Brett L Williams v. Department of Oublic Safety, Colorado State Patrol No. 2011G028 PDF 805.26kb, 16 JUL 12
R3.5 PinkNews: Judge says Colorado State Patrol has 'anti-gay culture' 19 JUL 12
R3.4 Summit Daily: Summit County wins lawsuit against same-sex couple 11 NOV 11
R3.3 SummitDaily: Gay couple sues Summit County for discrimination 08 NOV 11
R3.2 Associated Press: Colorado Man Wins Discrimination Lawsuit Against AT&T Broadband 06 APR 04
C3.1 Romer v. Evans No 94-1039, 517 U.S. 620 (1996), 20 MAY 96
R3.1 Adelaide Gay Times: US Gay Victory 07 JUN 96
Brother Sister: Colorado Forced to Trash Law 30 MAY 96
Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession Legislation/Cases/References


On 21 February 2001, a bill that would have allowed survivors to claim the estate of their gay or lesbian partner died in the Colorado legislature [R1.2].


On 05 February 2001, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved 4–3 Senate Bill 159 that allowed the surviving partner in a same-sex relationship to inherit the couple's property after one of the partners dies, even when there is no will [R1.1].

R1.2 The Advocate: Gay Inheritance Bill Dies in Colorado Legislature 24-26 FEB 01
R1.1 Denver Post: Same-sex property bill gets panel OK 06 FEB 01
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

See also: [HATE CRIMES]


On 21 March 2016, the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee postponed indefinately HB16-1185, a measure to make it easier for transgender people to change the gender marking on their birth certificates [R1.3].

On 18 February 2016, the House Health, Insurance, & Environment committee passed (7-6) Bill HB16-1185, the "2016 Birth Certificate Modernization Act", to make it easier for transgender people to change their birth certificates. The Bill now heads to the full House for consideration [R1.2].

In late May 2008, Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado signed a nondiscrimination law that offers new legal protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals [R1.1].


Cities & Towns

On 05 November 2001, the Denver City Council passed a new ordinance adding gender identity to those protected in employment, housing and health care [R2.2].

Previously, the anti-discrimination law included race, religion, age disabilities, sexual orientation and marital status.

"Gender Identity" is defined in the ordinance as a person's individual attributes that may not be in accord with one's physical anatomy, chromosomal sex, genitalia or sex assigned at birth. "Transgendered" is another term for people whose gender identity doesn't conform to their physical sex.

In February 2000, Boulder became the first Colorado city to offer legal protection to transgendered people [R2.1].


Courts & Tribunals

On 29 September 2017, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a complaint against A&E Tire, Inc., alledging the company violated federal law by retracting a job offer and refusing to hire F2M male applicant Egan Joseph Woodward once it was discovered that he was transgender [C3.4], [R3.3].

On 17 June 2013, Director Steven Chaves in the Colorado Civil Rights Division determined that the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 unlawfully discriminated against 6-year-old Coy Mathis on the grounds of sex and sexual orientation in denying Mathis access to the girl's restroom, in its place of public accomodation [C3.2], [R3.1].

R1.3 TheDurangoHerald: Transgender birth certificate bill dies in Legislature 21 MAR 16
R1.2 TheDenverPost: Panel OKs Colorado bill on transgender birth certificates 19 FEB 16
R1.1 The Advocate: Colorado Enacts Gay Rights Law 31 MAY-02 JUN 08
R2.2 Denver Rocky Mountain News: Law Protects Transgendered City Residents 06 NOV 01
R2.1 The Daily Camera: Transgender Ordinance OK'd 02 FEB 00
R3.4 EEOC v. A&E Tire, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:17cv-02362-STV
R3.3 US EqualOpportunityCommission (Press Release): A&E Tire Sued By EEOC for Sex-Based Discrimination Against Transgender Applicant 29 SEP 17
C3.2 Determination: Coy Mathis v. Fountian-Fort Carson School District 8 P20130034X PDF 2.53MB, 17 JUN 13
R3.1 NBC News: Transgender 6-year-old wins civil rights case to use girls' bathroom 23 JUN 13
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [VIOLENCE]


In 2005, hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity became considered aggravating circumstances [R1.2].

In April 2002, the Senate gave initial approval to Senate Bill 9, which would expand the crime of ethnic intimidation to include crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity [R1.1].

R1.2 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.1 Denver Rocky Mountain News: Lawmakers Approve Stiffer Penalties for Bias-motivated Crimes 18 APR 02
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References


Consensual sex between same sex couples is lawful [R1.1].


Courts & Tribunals

On 28 April 2017, the United Methodist Church Judicial Council reportedly ruled 6-3 that openly lesbian bishop Karen Oliveto can stay on as leader of the Denver-area church region that is part of the Methodist Western Jurisdiction for now, but she is subject to a disciplinary review that could lead to her removal. The Methodist Western Jurisdiction region, rejected the denomination's position that ''the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching'' [R2.1].

R1.1 ILGA: Annual Report 1996 - Part II 96
R2.1 WTOL11: Methodist court ruling a blow for openly lesbian bishop 29 APR 17
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References


Constitution of the State of Colorado. Article II Bill of Rights [L1.2]

Section 31. Marriages – valid or recognised

Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.

Source: Initiated 2006: Entire section added, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 2007, p. 2962, December 31, 2006.

Colorado Revised Statutes. Title 14 Domestic Matters, 14–2–104. Formalities [L1.1].

(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, a marriage is valid in this state if:

(a) […]

(b) It is only between one man and one woman.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 14-2-112, any marriage contracted within or outside this state that does not satisfy paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section shall not be recognized as valid in this state.

(3) […]

On 26 May 2000, Colorado's Governor Bill Owens signed into law HB1249, a bill that recognizes marriage only as a union between one man and one woman [R1.2].


On 09 March 1999, the House Judiciary Committee put an end to SB159, a bill proposing to prevent the state of Colorado from recognizing the union of gay couples who might marry in other states [R1.1].

In March 1999, the First Plymouth Congregational Church reportedly agreed to sanction same-sex marriages and to form a support group for homosexuals [R1.0].


Courts & Tribunals

On 07 October 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court lifted injunctions against three county clerks on Tuesday, and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers gave the order for all county clerks to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The Court also has lifted a stay and dismissed an appeal in the state case challenging Colorado's voter-approved ban on gay marriage [C2.19], [C2.18], [R2.17].

On 18 September 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ordered the appeal in the Catherine Burns, et al., v. John Suthers, et al. case be abated requiring the parties to notify within 10 days of a decision on the petitions pending before the US Supreme Court and file status reports within 30 days if no decision is issued by that time [C2.16], [R2.15].

On 21 July 2014, consistent with stays issued on other cases, the US Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order granting a stay in Burns v. Suthers, a federal challenge to Colorado's same-sex marriage ban [C2.14], [R2.13].

On 29 July 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court ordered Boulder County to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples pending disposition of an appeal [R2.12]. On 10 July 2014, District Court Judge Andrew Hartman had denied the Attorney General's motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction [C2.11].

On 24 July 2014, Federal District Court Judge Raymond P Moore granted a preliminary injunction in Burns v. Hickenlooper, a challenge to Colorado's same-sex marriage ban but also ruled that the proceedings will be put on hold until the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issues its mandate in Kitchen v. Herbert, the Utah marriage equality case [C2.10], [R2.9].

On 18 July 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued an order prohibiting the clerk and recorder of Denver and Adams County to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples [C2.8], [R2.7].

On 09 July 2014, Adams County District Court Judge C Scott Crabtree ruled that the Marriage Bans violate plaintiffs' due process and equal protection guarantees under the Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, but he issued an immediate stay [C2.6], [R2.5].

On 19 February 2014, a Complaint was filed on behalf of nine couples in the Denver District Court challenging the state constitution's ban on gay marriage on various grounds [C2.4], [R2.3].

On 30 October 2013, Rebecca Brinkman & Margaret Burd filed suit in the Adams County District Court seeking an order that they have the right to marry [C2.2], [R2.1].

L1.2 Mitchie's Legal Resources: Colorado Constitution
L1.1 Mitchie's Legal Resources: Colorado Revised Statutes
R1.2 Rocky Mountain News: Same-sex Unions Banned in Colorado 27 MAY 00
Denver Post: Governor Gets Gay-Marriage Ban 14 APR 00
R1.1 Denver Post: Same-Sex Marriage Ban Killed 10 MAR 99
R1.0 Chicago Tribune: Church to Offer Same-sex Marriages 26 MAR 99
C2.19 Order: The State of Colorado v. Hillary Hall No. 2014SC582 PDF 107.83kb, 07 OCT 14
C2.18 Order: Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd v. State of Colorado and G Kristian McDaniel-Miccio & Ors v. State of Colorado No. 2012SA212 PDF 30.84kb, 07 OCT 14
R2.17 TheDenverPost: Colorado Supreme Court, Suthers clear way for same-sex licenses 07 OCT 14
C2.16 Order: Catherine Burns, et al., v. John Suthers, et al. No. 14-1283 PDF 48.68kb, 18 SEP 14
R2.15 EqualityOnTrial: Tenth Circuit puts Colorado marriage case on hold 19 SEP 14
C2.14 Order: Catherine Burns et al. v. John Suthers et al. No. 14-1284 PDF 38.31kb, 21 AUG 14
R2.13 EqualityOnTrial: Tenth Circuit stays same-sex marriages in Colorado 21 AUG 14
R2.12 TheGuardian: Colorado supreme court halts same-sex marriages in Boulder County 30 JUL 14
C2.11 Order: People of the State of Colorado, ex rel. John Suthers v. Hillary Hall Case No. 2014CV30833 PDF 229.18kb, 10 JUL 14
C2.10 Order: Catherine Burns, et al. v. John W Hickenlooper, Jr., et al. 14-cv-01817-RM-KLM PDF 230.28kb, 23 JUL 14
R2.9 EqualityOnTrial: Federal judge grants preliminary order invalidating Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban
C2.8 Order: Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd v. State of Colorado et al. No. 2014SA212 PDF 51.98kb, 18 JUL 14
R2.7 TheAdvocate: Colorado Supreme Court Stops Denver's Same-Sex Marriages 18 JUL 14
C2.6 Summary Judgment Order: Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd et al. v. Karen Long & Anor., G Kristian McDaneil-Miccio et al. v. State of Colorado et al. Case Nos. 13-CV-32572, 14-CV-30731 PDF 153.11kb, 09 JUL 14
R2.5 EqualityOnTrial: Colorado same-sex marriage ban ruled unconstitutional 09 JUL 14
C2.4 Complaint: McDaniel-Miccio et. al. v. Hickenlooper & Anor. 2014-CV-30731 PDF 305.30kb, 19 FEB 14
R2.3 EdgeOnTheNet: Colorado Couples Challenge State Gay Marriage Ban 19 FEB 14
C2.2 Complaint: Rebecca Brinkman & Margaret Burd v. Karen Long 2013CV032572 PDF 30.84kb, 30 OCT 13
R2.1 TheAdvocate: Lesbian Couple Sues for Marriage Equality in Colorado 01 NOV 13
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References


State law allows single parent [L1.4], [R1.4] and second-parent adoptions child [L1.3], [R1.3].

Colorado Revised Statutes. Title 19 Children's Code, Article 5 Reliquishment and Adoption, Part 2 Adoption [L1.4].

19–5–202. Who may adopt

(1) Any person twenty-one years of age or older, including a foster parent, may petition the court to decree an adoption.

(2) A minor, upon approval of the court, may petition the court to decree an adoption.

(3) A person having a living spouse from whom he is not legally separated shall petition jointly with such spouse, unless such spouse is the natural parent of the child to be adopted or has previously adopted the child.


19–5–203. Availability for adoption [L1.3]

(d.5) (II) In a petition for a second-parent adoption, the court shall require a written home study report prepared by a county department of social services, designated qualified individual, or child placement agency and approved by the department pursuant to section 19-5-207.5

(2). If the child of a sole legal parent was adopted by that parent less than six months prior to the filing of an adoption petition by a second prospective parent and if the second prospective parent was included in the home study report that was prepared pursuant to section 19-5-207 for the adoption of the child by the first parent, then that home study report shall be a valid home study report for the purpose of the second parent's adoption. If the filing of a petition for adoption by the second prospective parent occurs six months or more after the adoption by the first parent, a separate home study report shall be required pursuant to section 19-5-207.

On 14 May 2007, Governor Bill Ritter Jr. signed HB 07–1330 Second Parent Adoption Bill into law, allowing the unmarried partner of a prospective adoptive parent to co-adopt, effective 03 August 2007 [R1.3].

The Bill added a new paragraph 19–5–203 (above) to the Colorado Revised Statutes [L1.3].


On 18 February 2003, House Bill HB 1235 to extend parental rights to both people in gay and lesbian relationships was killed by Republicans in a House committee [R1.4].

The Bill would have authorized adoptions for same-sex couples, giving their children health insurance, inheritance and other legal rights from both partners [R1.4].

In late 2002, a bill that would have banned same-sex couples from being listed on the same birth certificate passed the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. It later died in the Senate Judiciary Committee [R1.4].

On 10 April 2002, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4–3 to "postpone indefinitely" House Bill 1356 that would have prohibited listing two women or two men as parents on birth certificates in reaction to two Boulder judges' approval of 45 such same-sex petitions and bar "maternity suits" petitioning for same-sex maternity or paternity if the birth mother or birth father is known [R1.2].

On 27 March 2002, the Colorado House voted 36–28 in favour of House Bill 1356 [R1.1].


Courts & Tribunals

On 05 December 2013, the Court of Appeals found there was nothing in the Uniform Parentage Act that would prohibit a child from having two same-sex parents (a biological mother and a presumptive mother) [C2.3], [R2.2].

In September 2009, Boulder District Court Judge Roxanne Bailin ruled that Colorado law allowed a lesbian couple identified in court documents only as Jane K. and Anne G., to have their names appear on the birth certificate of the unborn child that Anne G. is carrying [R2.1].

The ruling means the child's non-biological mother can assume parental rights of the child, from signing consent forms for school to retaining custody if the biological mother were to die.

On 28 March 2002, it was reported that judges in Boulder County had allowed the names of both same-sex parents to appear on birth certificates [R1.1].

L1.4 Mitchie's Legal Resources: Colorado Revised Statutes (Accessed 27 OCT 09)
R1.4 Denver Post: GOP Nixes Adoption for Gay Couples 19 FEB 03
L1.3 House Bill 07-1330 PDF (Accessed 27 OCT 09).
R1.3 Colorado General Assembly: Digest of Bills – 2007 (Accessed 17 DEC 10)
Associated Press: Committee kills bill to allow same-sex partners to adopt 18 FEB 03
R1.2 Denver Post: Gay Parents Win in Senate 11 APR 02
R1.1 Pueblo Chieftain: House OKs Bill to Ban Same-sex Birth Certificates 28 MAR 02
C2.3 Opinion: In re the Parental Responsibilities of A.R.L., a Child and Concerning Elizabeth Limberis and Sabrina Havens 2013COA170, No. 13CA0342 PDF 93.68kb, 05 DEC 13
R2.2 Colorado Bar Association: Biological Versus Presumptive Mother in Same-Sex Relationship – Uniform Parentage Act 05 DEC 13
R2.1 Rocky Mountain News: Attorney Fights for Children of Gay Couples 28 OCT 99
Yahoo News: Gay Activists Celebrate Ruling 25 OCT 99
Taxation Legislation/Cases/References


On 27 February 2014, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law that requires gay couples that are married in another state or in a Colorado civil union to file their taxes using the same filing status used on their federal tax return. The law will apply to tax years beginning on 01 January 2013 [R1.2].

On 17 February 2014, the House passed Senate Bill 14-019, that requires any 2 taxpayers lawfully married out of state and who may legally file a joint federal income tax return to file separate state income tax returns if they file separate federal income tax returns and to file a joint state income tax return if they file a joint federal income tax return [R1.1].

R1.2 EdgeOnTheNet: Joint Tax-Filing for Gays Signed in Colorado 27 FEB 14
R1.1 KUNC: Same-Sex State Tax Bill Passes House, Heads To Governor 17 FEB 14
Violence: Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References


Title 18. Criminal Code. Article 6. Offenses Involving The Family Relations. Part 8. Domestic Violence [L1.2].

§ 18-6-800.3. Definitions.

(1) "Domestic violence" means an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. "Domestic violence" also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.

(2) "Intimate relationship" means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.

On 13 May 2011, Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law a measure requiring school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies and programs and providing some grant money to assist local school districts in that effort [R1.1].

L1.2 Michie's Legal Resources: Colorado Revised Statutes 18-6-800.3 (Accessed 07 JAN 12)
R1.1 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes: School districts to adopt anti-bullying policies PDF 433.08kb, MAY 11 at page 116

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