Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. the Supreme Court

By Joyce Murdoch; Deb Price | Go to book overview

16
"THE CONSTITUTION
'NEITHER KNOWS NOR TOLERATES
CLASSES AMONG CITIZENS' "

A HANDSOME, GLEAMING CITY tucked just in front of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs, Colorado, has long taken a distinctly conservative bent from its best-known institutions, the Air Force Academy and the Army's Fort Carson. While Denver embraced the liberalism of aging antiwar baby boomers, Boulder threw its heart into environmentalism and Aspen thrived as a trendy ski resort, Colorado Springs tilted farther to the right.

In the late 1980s, the city's economic development teams actively recruited far-right religious organizations. James Dobson's Focus on the Family pulled up stakes in California and resettled in Colorado Springs. Soon, so many conservative Christian groups had moved their national headquarters to Colorado Springs that the city was being called the "Vatican of evangelical Christianity" and "Ground Zero in the culture wars." The influx of ultraconservative activists into Colorado Springs coincided with anti-gay politics becoming a cash cow for far-right groups desperate to fill the void created by Communism's collapse as a reliable bogeyman.

Colorado's gay citizens generally were oblivious to the threat that the growing ranks of hardcore conservatives posed to them. "Nobody really understood what was going on. We didn't see the danger," recalls lesbian Linda Fowler, who chaired the gay-rights advisory committee of Denver's liberal mayor. Although Colorado wasn't among those few states

-451-

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