Beyond Club Q tragedy, Colorado hints at US shift on LGBTQ rights

Pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, violet. 

A 25-foot-long pride flag recently hung for two weeks outside Colorado Springs City Hall. For a city known for years as a conservative, Christian center, it was a notable sign of solidarity with those targeted in the mass shooting there last month at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub. 

Soon after the flag was raised, however, strong winds caused the fabric to tear. The city reached out to a local seamstress who came to the rescue and volunteered her time. After her repairs, the flag was raised again. 

Why We Wrote This

The bipartisan passage of the Respect for Marriage Act shows how far Americans have come in embracing LGBTQ rights. Blue Colorado with its deep-red pockets illustrates that journey.

Much like the mending of the flag, Colorado LGBTQ advocates are used to cycles of revolution and repair, victory and setback, while gaining allies along the way. From “hate state” status in the 1990s to the reelection, with a 19-point lead, of the country’s first openly gay, male governor in November, Colorado illustrates the nation’s gradual trend toward equal rights for the LGBTQ community – even as gales of grievance continue to blow.

The partisan split of Colorado’s federal lawmakers over the Respect for Marriage Act, signed into law this week, signaled another nuanced win for LGBTQ advocates.

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