The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination in places of public accommodation, housing, and employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Discriminatory practices can come in many forms, including: terms of service, denial of full and equal service, intimidation, access, conditions, privileges, advertising, and retaliation.
- Public Accommodations & Housing: A place of public accommodation can include locations such as a bakery, florist, restaurant, hotel or motel, hospital, retail store, school, public transportation, recreational facility or park, and library.
- All public accommodations shall allow individuals the use of gender-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity.
- Gender segregated facilities include, but are not limited to restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and dormitories.
- Landlords, store owners, and service providers cannot refuse service to you because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Employment: It is illegal to consider sexual orientation or gender identity when making employment-related decisions, including hiring and firing, or any inquiries about an employees sexual orientation.
- A store owner cannot kick you out for using the restroom that aligns with your gender identity.
- A landlord cannot limit access to property amenities based on your gender identity or sexual orientation.
- An employer cannot prohibit you from coming out at work, enforce gender-based dress codes, or fire you based on your sexual orientation or gender identity.
You have rights as a student.
Public schools are required under federal law to remedy the abuse and harassment of LGBTQ+ students. If the school learns of abuse or harassment and does not do anything to protect you, then it has been put on notice and can be held legally responsible.
- Keep a record of each time you were harassed-what happened, who was involved, and to whom you reported it.
- Privacy: Your school does NOT have the right to “out” you to anyone without your permission.
- Freedom of Speech: You have a constitutional right to be out of the closet at school if you want to be. Your right to free expression includes your choice of clothes. If your schools code allows other students to wear t-shirts about their beliefs, it’s illegal for them to ask you to take your t-shirt off because it has an LGBTQ+ flag. School dress codes have to treat all students equally-if the clothing you want to wear would be appropriate if worn by other students, then you are also able to wear that clothing. A school can restrict an individuals speech when it causes significant disruption in the classroom.
- Gay Straight Alliances: The Federal Equal Access Act says that if a public school permits non-curricular clubs, then it must allow students to form a GSA if they want to. The school has to treat the GSA the same as it does other non-curricular clubs.
- Bring a Same-Sex Date to Prom: Your public school cannot stop you from bringing a same sex-date to prom.
YOU CANNOT BE DENIED HEALTH INSURANCE
In 2013, the Colorado Division of Insurance stated that discrimination in health coverage based on sexual orientation is prohibited (sexual orientation is defined as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgender status).
Public health insurance plans sold in Colorado can no longer:
- Impose higher rates or charge more because of your sexual orientation
- Use your sexual orientation as a pre-existing condition for the purpose of limiting or denying coverage
- Deny, exclude or limit coverage for medically necessary services as determined by your medical provider, if the same item or service would be provided to another individual without regard to their sexual orientation. In short, Colorado law requires equality in treatment.
- Examples: If an insurer covers breast reduction surgery to lessen back pain, that insurer cannot deny breast reduction surgery for gender transition if the medical provider deemed the treatment medically necessary.
- If hormone therapy is covered for other policyholders, it cannot be denied for gender transition if determined to be medically necessary.
UPDATING ID DOCUMENTS
- Jude’s Law allows transgender and nonbinary Coloradans of any age to have accurate, reflective identification documents (IDs). This means that you can update your birth certificate, driver’s license, or Colorado state ID with the options male (M), female (F), or non-binary/gender-nonconforming (X).
- Requirements eliminated: This act gets rid of the requirements of surgery, a doctor’s note, a court order, and newspaper publication to make document changes.
- New birth certificate: If you have previously obtained an amended birth certificate under previous versions of the law, you can apply to receive a new birth certificate.
- Court order for name change: You are not required to obtain a court order for a legal name change in order to get a new birth certificate with a change in gender designation. However, the law only allows you to request the gender designation update once. Beyond the one time, a court order is required.
Encounters with police can be stressful and confusing. Knowing what your rights are when dealing with law enforcement can help prepare you for such situations and reduce your confusion. Take time to educate yourself on what your rights are when dealing with law enforcement and be better able to protect your freedoms.
If you’ve been stopped in public by a police officer:
- Officers can:
- Ask you to provide identification
- Pat down the outside of your clothing
- Ask for your name and address once you have been detained
- You have the right to:
- Remain silent: You only need to answer your name and address. When an officer asks you other questions, say “I’m going to remain silent. I’d like to see a lawyer.”
- Refuse searches: If an officer wants to search anything beyond patting down the outside of your clothing, say “I don’t consent to searches”.
- Determine if free to go: Ask the officer “Are you detaining me, or am I free to go?”
- If they answer “Yes” → Calmly walk away.
- If they answer “No” → You are being detained. Ask the officer what crime you are suspected of committing.
Reduce risks to yourself: If officers keep searching you after you said you don’t consent, do not physically resist them. Stay calm. Don’t run or obstruct the officers. Keep your hands where the officers can see them.
If you are pulled over by the police:
- Officers can:
- Ask you to show your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance Ask you to step outside of the car.
- Separate passengers and drivers from each other to question them, but no one has to answer any questions.
- You have the right to:
- Remain Silent: Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent.
- You only need to answer your name and address and provide required documents (driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance).
- When an officer asks you other questions, say “I’m going to remain silent. I’d like to see a lawyer.”
- Refuse searches: If an officer wants to search your car, say “I don’t consent to searches”.
- Determine if free to go: If you’re a passenger, you can ask if you’re free to leave. If yes, you may silently leave.
Reduce risks to yourself: Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window part way, and place your hands on the wheel. Keep your hands where the police can see them.
If police are at your door:
- Ask, through the door: “Do you have a warrant?” If the officers do not have a warrant, do not let them into your home and do not say anything other than “I don’t want to talk to you.”
- If the officers have a warrant:
- Ask the officers to slip it under the door or show it to you through a window.If you feel you must open the door, then step outside, close the door behind you and ask to see the warrant.
- Make sure the search warrant contains:
- The judge’s name
- Your name and address
- The date
- Place to be searched
- A description of any items being searched for
- The name of the agency that is conducting the search or arrest
- Tell the officers if they are at the wrong address or if you see some other mistake in the warrant.
- Then you should say you do not consent to the search. But do not interfere if the officers still decide to do the search. Call your lawyer as soon as possible. Ask if you are allowed to watch the search; if you are allowed to, you should take notes:
- Badge numbers
- The agency each officer is from
- Where they searched
- What they took
- If others are present, have them act as witnesses to watch carefully what is happening.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO PROTEST
The rights to protest is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment The First Amendment gives you the right to march, make speeches, hand out leaflets, hold and attend rallies, carry posters and demonstrate. This right cannot be restricted even if what you say is controversial.
WHERE: Your rights are strongest in traditional public forums:
- Streets, sidewalks, parks, plazas in front of government buildings, and other public property.
- At public schools (but may be prohibited if the event interferes with school activities).
- At public universities (non-student/non-staff demonstrations may be prohibited).
PERMITS: As long as marchers don’t obstruct traffic, you do not need a permit to march in the streets or on sidewalks.
Events that may require permits:
- A march or parade that requires blocking traffic.
- A large rally with sound amplifiers.
- A rally over a certain size at most parks or plazas.
SPEECH: Police must treat protesters and counter-protesters equally.
- Private property owners can set rules for speech on their property.
- The government may not restrict your speech if it is taking place on your own property or with the consent of the property owners.
PHOTOGRAPHS & RECORDING:
- You have the right to record when you are lawfully present in any public space, including federal buildings and the police.
- Police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant, nor may they delete data under any circumstances.
- Police may order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations.
IF YOU ARE STOPPED BY THE POLICE:
- Try to remain calm. keep your hands visible.
- Don’t argue, resist, or obstruct the police, even if you believe they are violating your rights.
- Point out that you are not disrupting anyone else’s activity and that the First Amendment protects your actions.
- Ask if you are free to go. If the officer says yes, calmly walk away.
- If you are under arrest, you have a right to ask why.
- Otherwise, say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. Don’t say or sign anything without a lawyer.
- You have the right to make a local phone call. If you’re calling your lawyer, police are not allowed to listen. You never have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings.
- Police may “pat down” your clothing if they suspect you have a weapon and may search you after an arrest.
IF YOU BELIEVE YOUR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED:
- Write down everything you remember, including the officers’ badge and patrol car numbers and the agency they work for.
- Get contact information for witnesses.
- Take photographs of injuries.
- File a written complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board.
- If you feel that any of your rights have been violated, contact us at https://intake.aclu-co.org