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Romer v. Evans

United States Supreme Court
517 U.S. 620 (1996)


Facts

Several Colorado municipalities passed ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment, education, public accommodations, health and welfare services, and other transactions and activities. In response to these ordinances, Colorado voters passed Amendment 2 which prohibited all governmental intervention designed to protect the status of persons based on their sexual orientation, conduct, practices, or relationships. Evans (plaintiff) represented a class of aggrieved homosexual persons and municipalities in Colorado and brought suit in Colorado state court against Romer (defendant), the Governor of Colorado, on the grounds that Amendment 2 was unconstitutional. The trial court enjoined enforcement of Amendment 2. The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed on the grounds that Amendment 2 was subject to strict scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution because it interfered with the fundamental right of gays and lesbians to participate in the political process. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Scalia, J.)

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