Ernest LuningErnest LuningFebruary 17, 20184min1030

Two Capitol Democrats with a history of blazing trails for LGBTQ equality are among the recipients of One Colorado Education Fund's annual Ally Awards, the advocacy organization announced this week. Gov. John Hickenlooper is one of three All Award winners, and Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, a Denver Democrat, is slated to receive One Colorado's Lifetime Achievement Award at an Aug. 25 gala in Denver.


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Pat Steadman, the former state senator and public citizen extraordinaire, was honored with a lifetime achievement award last weekend at One Colorado Education Fund’s annual Ally Awards, which honors those who have worked for the rights and good of LGBTQ Coloradans and their families were:

Term limits kept Steadman from running again last year. He’s the CEO of Behavioral Healthcare in Denver, but his resume reads like scroll of achievements on behalf of Coloradans.

An influential member of the General Assembly respected by both parties, Steadman was a member of the Joint Budget Committee. But before he was done, he helped rewrite the state’s liquor laws to eventually allow beer and wine in more grocery stores while helping protect and compensate liquor stores already in business nearby when the laws changed.

In 2013, after two years of trying, Steadman led the charge to pass legislation authorizing civil unions for same-sex couples.

He was honored by President Obama at the White House that year when he was presented the Harvey Milk Champion of Change Award.

He earned his bonafides in public policy more than two decades ago fighting to overturn Colorado’s Amendment 2, the citizen-passed constitutional amendment that banned state and local laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Another One Colorado honoree Saturday night worked alongside Steadman in that fight.

Jean Dubofsky, the first woman to serve on the Colorado Supreme Court in 1979 before returning to private practice, was then lead attorney in the Romer v. Evans case that led the high court to toss out Amendment 2.

The case happened at a pivotal time, she told Sarah Kuta of the Boulder Daily Camera last year.

“All of a sudden people just started understanding that, ‘Oh yeah, this is not a mortal danger, this is not a threat, these are the people who’ve already been around me all the time,'” Dubofsky recalled. “That’s the reason I think all of the change since Romer v. Evans moved so fast. I had no idea that things would move that quickly, but it’s really, to my way of thinking, just been terrific.”

One Colorado also honored Kaiser Permanente for being a health care industry leader in removing insurance plan exclusions for transgender people, as well as improving experiences for LGBTQ patients.

The civil rights law firm Rathod Mohamedbhai was honored for working on the relationship between the Muslim and LGBTQ communities, as well as representing Jessie Hernandez, the lesbian teen shot by Denver police as she fled in a stolen car in 2015.


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There were lights, more than a few cameras and plenty of action at the premiere of former state Sen. Linda Newell’s documentary film on Saturday afternoon at a Littleton theater. There was also a massive, forbidding doorway to Skull Island lit by flickering tiki lights, and lots of little girls scampering around the lobby dressed in versions of Belle’s iconic yellow princess dress. It was, after all, the movie biz.


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