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How a day of celebration, became a day of protest; Longmont Pride 2023

How a day of celebration, became a day of protest; Longmont Pride 2023


As America’s Supreme Court rolls back freedoms for protected classes, a day of celebration became heavily focused on what voters need to do.

Longmont Pride 2023 Rally, Photo credit: Kenneth Wajda

Yesterday, Yellow Scene Magazine had a booth at Pride Longmont. A few weeks before, we also had a booth at Pride Boulder. Out Boulder County hosts both events. They are always spaces of joy, happiness, acceptance, and love. While both days celebrated the right to be who you are in society, Longmont Pride took a very serious turn in spirit based on the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing businesses to discriminate based on religious beliefs.

Out Boulder County Executive Director Mardi Moore, Photo credit: Kenneth Wajda

After hearing the ruling, Out Boulder County quickly added several local legislators to speak on the latest attacks on civil rights. Executive Director Mardi Moore started out by stating, “As a 60-year-old lesbian, I can’t believe I am back fighting this again, but fight is what we will do.”

Former Deputy Attorney General for Colorado Jean Dubofsky spoke next. She addressed the legal ramifications of this ruling. She is best known for leading the fight for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Colorado’s Amendment 2, which prevented the LGBTQIA community from obtaining redress for discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Boulder County Commissioner Claire Levy stated, “We are now being governed by six people who have life tenure, and let’s be clear: This case would not have arisen but for the fact that people continue to hold homophobic views.”

Representative Brianna Titone, Photo credit: Kenneth Wajda

Representative Brianna Titone, the first transgender state legislator in Colorado, encouraged people to vote. Especially young people. She says, “We’ve got a lot more bad things that are going to be coming upon us, but we have to band together and fight back, register to vote, get other people to vote, and vote for the good people.”

Statistics and results show that younger voters need to show up.

Boulder Mayor Aaron Brockett, Longmont Mayor Joan Peck, and Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty expressed similar sentiments. 

Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty, Photo credit: Kenneth Wajda

District Attorney Dougherty addressed the crowd, “Normally, when we come together for Longmont Pride, it is a cause for great celebration, to be in this wonderful community and be together. Today is no cause or reason to celebrate. In fact, the last 48 hours have been no reason to celebrate because when it comes to affirmative action and LGBTQ rights, the U.S. Supreme Court, in just two decisions, took two giant steps back for equality in this country. And that is unacceptable.”


Boulder County NAACP President Annette James, Photo credit: S. Blades

In a show of solidarity, Boulder County NAACP President Annette James spoke on the need for the organizations to unite and fired the crowd up speaking about America’s long history of injustice. 

Also present at the event were Broomfield Mayor Guyleen Castriotta, Lyons Mayor Hollie Rogin, State Representative Karen McCormick, State Representative Jennifer Parenti, State Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis, State Representative Judy Amabile, Boulder County Commissioner Ashley Stolzmann, and Boulder Chamber’s Senior Director of Policy Programs & former State Representative Jonathan Singer.


Rep. Karen McCormick, Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, Rep. Brianna Titone, Rep. Jennifer Parenti, Rep. Judy Amabile, Photo credit: S. Blades

Statement from Out Boulder County on Facebook

Since Trump’s time serving as the most corrupt POTUS in history — if nothing else, the only one to be indicted twice — in addition to the mess he left us with, he also gave us three new ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justices. One can only imagine Justice Robert’s glee when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died. 

After all, he’s been waiting almost 20 years to rule the courts from his religious views. 

The right-wing majority on the Court includes current corruption investigations into two Supreme Court Justices. Justice Clarence Thomas (who is facing calls for impeachment) and Justice Samuel Alito for hanging out with billionaires he was hearing cases for.

The perfect storm to roll our country back has been created. And the Supreme Court is, in fact, turning the hands of time backward. 



Since the overturning of Roe vs. Wade (removing women’s rights to control their own bodies), the Supreme Court has struck down Student Loan forgiveness, struck down Affirmative Action for universities (while allowing Legacy Admissions to remain), ruled against environmental protections and climate change, stripped down gun regulations, given cyberstalkers the right to harass, and now have ruled for businesses to have the right to discriminate based on their religious beliefs. The argument that it is anything other than personal beliefs guiding them is evident in the willy-nilly way the Supreme Court follows precedent. Toss it out when they don’t like it, and use it when it suits them. Ethics be damned.

“Precedents that had stood since the 1970s were overturned, explicitly in the case of abortion and effectively in the affirmative action context.”

Justice Roberts must be in Sadism heaven. 

Currently, 23.88% of America identifies as Republican, while 46.89% identify as Democrat, 61% believe abortion should be legal, 63% are dissatisfied with current gun regulations, two-thirds want climate change addressed, and 71% think gay marriage should be legal. Yet the religious right and the GOP are controlling more legislation than they have actual public support for. The Supreme Court is overruling the will of the people.

The ruling was based on a website designer’s claim that she did not want to make content for a gay wedding, but the case itself was based on a call that never happened. 

“When Smith and her attorneys, the Christian right group Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF, brought this case for the first time, it was to the United States District Court in Colorado in 2016, and they lost. Smith and ADF filed the case on September 20 of that year, asking the court to enjoin the state anti-discrimination law so that Smith could begin offering her wedding website design services to straight couples only. Up to this point, Smith had never designed any wedding website. (In fact, her website six months prior to the lawsuit being filed in 2016 does not include any of the Christian messaging that it did shortly afterward and today, archived versions of the site show.) The initial lawsuit did not mention the “Stewart” inquiry, which was submitted to Smith’s website on September 21, according to the date-stamp shown in later court filings, indicating that she received it the day after the suit was originally filed.

It is unclear exactly when—or if—the inquiry from “Stewart” was examined and verified in the course of this legal battle.”


Ultra-right-wing Christian groups like Moms for Liberty and Alliance Defending Freedom (the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) has deemed the ADF as a hate group) are major influencers in moving our country backward. They claim to be grassroots efforts but are actually funded by Dark Money. Citizens United is another attack on Democracy brought to us by the Supreme Court. 

We are not alone in our concerns regarding the flagrant disregard for human rights by this Supreme Court. 

Justice Elena Kagan’s dissent: “Kagan wrote something unusual. She didn’t just challenge the chief justice’s reasoning, she questioned whether the court’s decision was even constitutional.

“From the first page to the last, today’s opinion departs from the demands of judicial restraint,” Kagan wrote. “At the behest of a party that has suffered no injury, the majority decides a contested public policy issue properly belonging to the politically accountable branches and the people they represent.”

She continued: “That is a major problem not just for governance, but for democracy too. Congress is, of course, a democratic institution; it responds, even if imperfectly, to the preferences of American voters. And agency officials, though not themselves elected, serve a President with the broadest of all political constituencies. But this Court? It is, by design, as detached as possible from the body politic. That is why the Court is supposed to stick to its business — to decide only cases and controversies and to stay away from making this Nation’s policy about subjects like student-loan relief.”

The court, Kagan concluded, “exercises authority it does not have. It violates the Constitution.”

In August 2020, President Biden said, “What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.” 

(President Biden, if it looks like a duck..)

But hey, so much more to look forward to. The Supreme Court will next decide if domestic abusers can own a gun. What could go wrong since they have already decided it’s okay to walk around with a loaded one with no serial number?

Things you can do to effect change and show support:
Join Out Boulder County
Join Boulder County NAACP
Get involved with groups advocating for equality, the climate, gun control, etc.
Support legislators who represent your values
Get involved in local legislation https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/01/opinion/supreme-court-gay-303-creative.html
And for the love of God, VOTE.
Sign petitions
Get educated (and always check sources)

More on the United States Supreme Court:

Takeaways from the latest controversial and contentious Supreme Court term https://www.cnn.com/2023/07/01/politics/supreme-court-term-takeaways/index.html
The Supreme Court’s conservatives are doing exactly what they claim to detest https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/supreme-court-conservatives-student-loans-roberts-rcna92129
‘Attack on modern life’: US Congress member Ro Khanna on the supreme court rulings https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jul/01/ro-khanna-congressman-progressive-supreme-court-term-limits
LGBT rights yield to religious interests at US Supreme Court https://www.reuters.com/legal/lgbt-rights-yield-religious-interests-us-supreme-court-2023-07-01
There is no trust now’: Student loan borrowers respond to Supreme Court Decision https://www.npr.org/2023/07/01/1185327143/student-loan-forgiveness-supreme-court-reactions
‘It’s infuriating’: queer New Yorkers react to supreme court’s LGBTQ+ ruling https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/01/lgbtq-new-york-supreme-court-reaction
Saturday Report 7/1/23 – Are lunch counters denying service to Black people next? https://hartmannreport.com/p/saturday-report-7123-are-lunch-counters
The Supreme Court’s Extreme Majority Risks Turning Back the Clock on Decades of Progress and Undermining Our Democracy https://www.americanprogress.org/article/the-supreme-courts-extreme-majority-risks-turning-back-the-clock-on-decades-of-progress
In 370 days, Supreme Court conservatives dash decades of abortion and affirmative action precedents https://www.wdio.com/front-page/world-national/in-370-days-supreme-court-conservatives-dash-decades-of-abortion-and-affirmative-action-precedents
Cardona Blasts Marjorie Taylor Greene and Others For Opposing Student Debt Cancelation After Their Government Loans Were Forgiven https://www.mediaite.com/tv/cardona-blasts-marjorie-taylor-greene-and-others-for-opposing-student-debt-cancelation-after-their-pandemic-loans-were-forgiven
Coordinated hate campaign is driving anti-LGBTQ+ ‘backlash’ targeting businesses: experts https://www.rawstory.com/gay-hate
9 ways to reform the Supreme Court besides court-packing https://www.vox.com/21514454/supreme-court-amy-coney-barrett-packing-voting-rights

Longmont Pride 2023, Photos by Kenneth Wajda


Shavonne Blades grew up on the West Coast but moved to Colorado in High School. She left for California after school and returned to Colorado in 1990. She got her start in media at the age of 21 in Santa Cruz, California as an advertising sales rep. Having no experience and nothing more than a couple of years as an art college attendee she felt the bug to work in media at a young age. She learned that by helping her customers with design and marketing, their campaigns would be far more successful and has made a 30+ year career in design, copywriting, and marketing for her clients. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPy4MMdcfLg. She has always chosen to work in Independent Media and believes deeply in the need for true, authentic Community Journalism. She is proud that YS has never compromised journalism standards in its 20+ history and continues to print YS on paper monthly while also expanding web coverage. She has worked at 3 Alternative Weeklies and founded Yellow Scene Magazine in 2000. You can learn more about Shavonne's adventures in the YS 20th Anniversary issue: https://yellowscene.com/2020/10/08/the-yellow-scenes-red-tornado/

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