In 1992, a majority of Colorado’s voters passed Amendment 2 to the state’s constitution, which would have denied gays and lesbians the right to claim discrimination at the local level in jobs, housing, and public accommodations. Bill Moyers travels to Colorado Springs, the town that gave birth to Amendment 2 that has become ground zero of a “holy war” between conservative Christian values and homosexual rights.
Bill Moyers from 20 years ago. I remember Amendment 2 like it was yesterday. It was a slap in the face to AIDS activists and gay people like me. But that slap would not go un-answered.
The tide started turning.
The very issue of Amendment 2 ultimately became Romer v. Evans and on May 20, 1996, the court ruled 6-3 that Colorado’s Amendment 2 was unconstitutional. I moved back here from my long sojourn away from this part of the world at the end of that summer. It just felt like it was time to come home and reclaim the Rockies.
Still, it’s been a long trip. Two years later in 1998, Matthew Shepard was murdered, left on the type of a lonely stretch of Wyoming backroad near Laramie that I am all too familiar with. For those keeping count, that’s 15 years ago.
Moyers next talks with Reverent Ted Haggard, pastor of the 4,500-member, non-denominational New Life Church, who explains why he believes that “homosexual behavior is immoral”
Well, 7 years ago Mike Jones put an end to Ted Haggard’s hypocrisy:
Mike Jones: Yes, when I exposed Ted Haggard I exposed myself. There’s no doubt about it. I also had death threats, and I risked being arrested, also. But you know, this man was such a hypocrite. This was a man who talked to Bush once a week. This was a man who actively campaigned against gay marriage. And he could not even abide by his own marriage vows. This is so strong for me, and it hurt me so deeply, that I simply reached the point where I had to say something.
I’m glad you did, Mike. You helped put the hypocrites in this alleged Holy War on the run, because 3 years ago, the Archdiocese of Denver settled 18 sex abuse claims for $5.5 million. Even though Equal Marriage became against the law in Colorado via Amendment 43 in 2006, the tide still kept turning.
Mark Ferrandino kept bringing civil unions up. And now he’s Speaker of the Colorado State House.
And who has threats against his family, since last week Bill O’Reilly and his goon squad painted a target on him?
House Speaker Mark Ferrandino — described by O’Reilly as a “villain” — said not a single Coloradan testified in favor of Jessica’s Law.
“What shocks me is for the two years Republicans had the majority, they didn’t introduce this bill,” said Ferrandino, a Denver Democrat who took over the speaker’s post after Republicans lost the majority in the 2012 election. “This is all about politics and not good policy.
Ferrandino added that after the O’Reilly show aired, he received nasty e-mails, including one that he said was from a viewer telling him he hoped Ferrandino’s 14-month-old foster daughter gets raped.
That’s one of the sounds of the last gasps of allegedly holy bigotry. Here’s another – today, the House voted out its initial approval of Senate Bill 11 after a heated debate, lead by Ferrandino: