top of page
rainbow line graphic



Rocky Mountain Equality has helped numerous individuals navigate interactions with government and private entities. Sometimes, having a supportive organization by your side can help individual situations be taken more seriously by relevant parties, including employers, teachers, school administration, and other institutions. It also alerts us to some of the challenges our community members face so we can work to address those issues on a systemic level.


Rocky Mountain Equality engaged with the State Board of Education and several community partners about implementation of HB19-1192, Inclusion of American Minorities in Teaching Civil Government, a law passed in 2019. This law called for the appropriate grade-level inclusion of historically underrepresented groups, including LGBTQ+ people, Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian Americans, and religious minorities, in Colorado’s Academic Standards.


While the state prepared to implement these Standards, various parties lobbied to alter or remove the addition of the underrepresented groups, in contrast to the intent of the law, including the removal of references to LGBTQ+ communities under 4th grade. In addition to providing advocacy and sharing information along with a coalition of other stakeholder groups, Rocky Mountain Equality’s Deputy Director Bruce Parker, Ph.D., also provided individual, expert consultation to members of the State Board of Education regarding specific Standards.


Ultimately, the original intent of the law is being honored and specific references to LGBTQ+ people, Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian Americans, and religious minorities remain in all grade levels of the updated Social Studies Standards. This means that students will now have access to history and civics lessons that represent Colorado’s diverse populations. 


The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted health disparities facing our communities and the need for inclusive data collection, especially for public health purposes. To address this, we put forward our first-ever state bill, Fairness in Data Collection, to mandate the collection of sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, race and ethnicity data for public health entities. This bill was successfully passed and requires the Health Equity Commission to include these categories in their assessment of and reporting on health disparities and inequities, and creates a community-informed working group to advise the Commission on collecting and aggregating this non-identifying demographic data. Provision of this demographic data by individuals is optional.


We are a member of this coalition that has successfully secured a “Small Community-based Nonprofit Grant Program” that will create funding for small nonprofit organizations serving underrepresented and underserved communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We contributed research, data, messaging, networking, and testimony. Small, community-based organizations are a direct line of defense and an important lifeline for at-risk populations.


Along with other partners, we successfully advocated for more inclusive data collection for COVID-19 vaccine registration with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE). In addition to “male” and “female,” the gender identity options now include: non-binary; transgender male/masculine; transgender female/feminine; unknown; and decline to answer. This will enable our community to be better reflected in COVID-19 data


In 2020 under direction of then President Trump, the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) proposed a rule that would allow discrimination against transgender people seeking services at HUD-funded programs and shelters. It would undo protections created by the Equal Access Rule that stated that individuals have a right to access programs and services according to their gender identity and ensured that they are not subject to invasive questioning about their sex. It is especially important to protect transgender access to shelters during a pandemic health crisis and economic downturn, both of which affect marginalized community members at higher rates.

In response to this situation, we partnered with the City of Boulder Human Relations Commission to engage local shelters to submit comments about the proposed rule to the federal register and sign onto a commitment to continue to follow the Equal Access Rule, regardless of HUD’s proposed rule, and serve and shelter transgender folks in alignment with their gender identity. See the Agency Commitment here. 


Rocky Mountain Equality continues to provide advocacy and support to our local shelters serving LGBTQ+ individuals. 


We educated Boulder’s City Council about the importance of adopting updated building codes in alignment with the International Plumbing Code to require all single-stall restrooms to be designated for any gender and clarify language that non-gendered, multi-stall restrooms are permitted as an option. The Council adopted the code updates and we continue to partner with the City on education and logistics about this topic.


We alerted Boulder’s Human Relations Commission about outdated language and restrictions regarding LGBTQ+ people in the city’s Human Rights Ordinance and suggested updates, which were adopted to continue the protection of LGBTQ people in city services.

Communites Thrive
rainbow line graphic
bottom of page