Citation. 517 U.S. 620, 116 S. Ct. 1620, 134 L. Ed. 2d 855, 1996 U.S. 3245.
Brief Fact Summary. Colorado voters adopted Amendment two to their State Constitution, precluding the government from adopting measures that would protect homosexuals from discrimination. The state trial court enjoined enforcement of the act.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest.
Amendment two was added to Colorado’s state constitution by a statewide referendum. It prohibited the state or local government from adopting measures that would protect homosexuals as a class from discrimination. The Respondents, Evans and others (Respondents), argued that Amendment two did nothing more than deny homosexuals special rights. The stated purpose of the amendment was to prevent the deterioration of the sexual morality favored by most Coloradans. The state trial court permanently enjoined enforcement Amendment two. The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed on the trials court’s decision. Issue.
Did Amendment two violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution)?