About LGBT Colorado Springs
Welcome to Colorado Springs' LGBT Community! The Springs is home to some of the nation's oldest LGBT groups, including the United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire, Pikes Peak Gay & Lesbian Community Center, Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church, and many others. Today, there are dozens of LGBT groups and organizations, including a number of LGBT bars & clubs, two major youth programs, a dynamic men's chorus, and more. Colorado Springs offers a wide variety of outdoor activities and cultural events and is definitely a hot spot for those interested in politics. From Garden of the Gods to Pikes Peak, the Springs is a beautiful setting at the base of Pikes Peak and the front range. For more information about the Springs in general, please check out the city's site at www.springsgov.com, or the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, and the Convention & Visitors Bureau.
But what about the reputation? Many people have said, "It's so conservative in Colorado Springs - how can there be a Center? How can you live there?!" The easy answer is: We were here first!
When the modern LGBT rights movement began with the "Stonewall Riots" in 1969, the Colorado Springs LGBT community was like any other. In fact, Colorado Springs is home to some of the nation's oldest LGBT organizations, like the United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire, founded in 1973. Shortly after the riots, what's known as the "Community Center" movement began, and Pikes Peak Gay & Lesbian Community Center was formed in 1978, also ranking it among the nation's oldest LGBT Centers.
It's important to look back a little further in history to find out how the turmoil began. In 1968, like most large cities, Colorado Springs founded its own Human Relations Commission to address racial issues within the city. In the 1980s, following a housing-market crash, city leaders struggled to find industry that could withstand economic hardships. At the time, they decided to bring in religious organizations and to foster a safe haven for nonprofit organizations. Among those relocating to Colorado Springs - Focus on the Family. In the late 1980s, LGBT leaders (many from Colorado Springs Pride) approached the city's Human Relations Commission to address discrimination faced by the LGBT community in the city. Again, in line with the rest of the nation, leaders asked the commission to include sexual orientation in the city's nondiscrimination policies, and asked the Human Relations Commission to address the disparities. Unfortunately, with the influx of conservative religious organizations, the situation quickly escalated. In 1991, city council ordered the Human Relations Commission to remove any reference to "sexual orientation" from its documents, and in 1992, Colorado Springs gave birth to Amendment 2, which was designed to forever bar LGBT people from being included in nondiscrimination laws. The Amendment passed in Colorado, but the Colorado State Supreme Court issued an injunction and found the law unconstitutional. The case went to the United States Supreme Court, which issued a final ruling declaring the law unconstitutional in 1996. In the meantime, LGBT leaders continued to push for equality through the Human Relations Commission, and in the end, city council decided to disband the 30-year-old institution in 1995 (making Colorado Springs one of the largest cities without a Human Relations Commission). In 1997, the city passed a "Zero Tolerance" resolution that included the term "sex", and the anti-LGBT leaders worked to start a legal battle to ensure "sex" did not mean "sexual orientation." In 2002, the city manager at the time added $6,700 to the city's budget to cover same-sex domestic partners of city employees. This became the hot button issue for the next city council election, and their first order of business was to remove the mere $6,000 line item, even though LGBT community leaders and the Vice Mayor at the time offered to cover the cost. In 2004, the Mayor stopped issuing the historic PrideFest proclamation, saying he does not support same-sex marriages.
Today Colorado Springs has a thriving LGBT community. With several organizations, and incredible activists, the LGBT community is making advancements, despite the conservative atmosphere. We are making progress on a city-wide nondiscrimination ordinance which includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and we're continually working to educate the community-at-large through press and other activities. Indicators of progress include the Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival, and Colorado Springs PrideFest (started in 1991), which attracts approximately 25,000 participants each year, including more than 100 business and organization supporters. In addition, LGBT parents have been making major progress in the school systems, as have LGBT students, and the Springs is home to one of the most active transgender resource and support groups: Peak Area Gender Expressions. Though there have been set-backs, the LGBT community continues making headway, and ultimately, we have come a long way. Many people say they feel comfortable being "out" in Colorado Springs, and more and more people are living their lives openly. In general, when asked about the climate, we at Colorado Springs Pride are proud to say we have a great community, although the politics continue to be a little rough. For those who do experience discrimination, the Center provides advocacy services, and continues to work toward greater systemic change so that one day the "turmoil" will be completely behind us. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to get connected with community so you can enjoy the many wonderful LGBT people who call the Springs "home." Welcome to the Springs' lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Founded in 1978, Colorado Springs Pride is one of the nation's oldest LGBT community centers. The Center is governed by a Board of Directors and day-to-day operations are facilitated by staff. Throughout its history, the Center has remained an organization driven and guided by community input, leadership and participation.
To connect, support and empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region to achieve civil and social equality while advocating for LGBT interests and inspiring a sense of community.
III. Corporation Status
The corporation shall be organized and operated so as to conduct its affairs exclusively for educational and charitable purposes, within the meaning of §501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
The corporation shall not:
- Permit any of its net earnings to inure to the benefit of any director, officer, or to any other private individual.
- Permit a substantial part of its activities to involve efforts to influence legislation on any governmental level.
- Participate in any political campaign for or against any candidate for political office.
- The corporation shall be governed by its articles of incorporation, its bylaws, policies and procedures adopted by the Board of Directors, and all applicable federal and state laws.
IV. Board of Directors
The corporation shall have a Board of Directors, who shall have ultimate fiduciary and oversight responsibility for the corporation. They may create and dissolve committees, employ and dismiss employees, enter into contracts and create any and all policies of the corporation.
The Board of Directors consists of all individuals appointed by the Board of Directors to be directors of the corporation in accordance with section VII of these bylaws. All directors must be donors of the corporation. The Board of Directors shall consist of at least five people and no more than ten people, except in the event of Board member attrition between terms.
Should the Board consist of less than five people, it may still act and operate in accordance with these bylaws, but should endeavor to fill vacancies.
A quorum of the Board of Directors consists of a majority of the directors in Office. Unless otherwise stated in these bylaws, the Board of Directors shall act in accordance with Simple Majority unless otherwise stated. Each director present has one vote, except that the Presiding Officer of the corporation may vote only where the vote of the other directors present has resulted in a tie.
The Board of Directors shall meet no less often than every two months.
A director may be removed from the Board of Directors by a two-thirds vote of all directors in office. Written notice of intent to remove a director must be given by the Board of Directors to the director involved at least 30 days prior to any such vote. The criteria for, and additional procedures governing, removal of a director shall be established by the Board of Directors.
A director may resign from the Board of Directors at any time by giving written notice of such resignation to the corporation.
No director shall be paid for her or his services rendered the corporation in the status of a director, but a director may be reimbursed by the corporation for expenditures made by the director and authorized by the Board of Directors or the Executive Committee.
Voting by proxy is not allowed at meetings of the Board of Directors or of any committee established by the board.
A director shall serve no more than two consecutive two-year terms, and no more than five years in sequence if appointed to fill an unexpired term.
- The Board of Directors shall have the authority to appoint, by a two-thirds vote of all directors in office, an interim director to fill a vacancy on the board. The term of the interim director shall expire at the first Board meeting following the next annual donors meeting of the corporation.
V. Donors of the Corporation
The corporation shall hold an annual donor meeting in January at a location and on a date specified by the Board of Directors. Every donor shall be notified of the meeting by written notice at least 14 days prior to the date of the meeting. The meeting will be chaired by the Presiding officer of the corporation, who shall not vote on any matter unless necessary to break a tie.
The Board of Directors may call additional meetings at its discretion. All donors shall be notified of such a meeting by written notice at least 14 days prior to the date of the meeting. The donors may not call a special donor meeting.
- It shall be the responsibility of each donor to keep the corporation informed of any change in her or his address.
The officers of the corporation shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. All officers shall be elected by the Board of Directors at the first Board meeting following the annual donor meeting for a term ending at the first Board meeting following the next annual donor meeting of the corporation. An officer must be a director of the corporation.
No person may hold more than one office at one time.
An officer may be removed from that position by a two-thirds vote of all directors in office. Written notice of intent to remove an officer must be given by the Board of Directors to the officer involved at least 30 days prior to any such vote. The criteria for, and additional procedures governing, removal of an officer shall be established by the Board of Directors. Removal of an officer does not constitute removal of the individual from the position of director of the corporation.
An officer may resign that position at any time by giving written notice of such resignation to the corporation. Such resignation does not cause termination of the individual’s status as a director of the corporation.
- The Board of Directors may elect a new officer during the year to fill a vacancy, and the term will end at the first board meeting following the next Annual Donors Meeting.
VII. Amendment of Bylaws or Articles of Incorporation
- The articles of incorporation of the corporation, and the bylaws, may be amended only by the vote of a majority of the Board of Directors.
VIII. Actions Undertaken in Corporation’s Name
- A director, officer, or staff member of the corporation may act in the corporation’s name only where such action is expressly or by reasonable implication authorized by the bylaws or by action of the Board of Directors or of any committee established by the Board of Directors.
IX. Records of Proceedings
- The Board of Directors and all other committees created by or under authority granted by the Board of Directors shall record minutes of all meetings and all policy directives and shall retain written copies.
X. Corporate Office
- The principal office of the corporation shall be within the City of Colorado Springs. The corporation may have such other offices as the Board of Directors authorizes
XI. Authorized Agent
- The Presiding Officer of the corporation shall be the corporation’s authorized agent.
XII. Presiding Officer
- The Presiding Officer of the corporation is the President if the President is available to take the action involved. If the President is not available, the Presiding officer shall be, in succession under the same rule, the Vice President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.
XIII. Fiscal Year and Annual Audit
The fiscal year for the corporation shall commence on January 1 and terminate on December 31.
- An independent review of the corporation’s financial records shall be conducted annually before the annual donor meeting. The independent review may be a formal audit if funds permit. The results of the review shall be available at the next annual donor meeting.
In accordance with its mission, the corporation, its Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers shall not discriminate on any basis including, but not limited to, race, economic status, religion, national origin, gender, age, physical ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression* or HIV/AIDS status.
- The Board of Directors shall establish minimum volunteer and participation ages as appropriate. Our community center and event volunteers are also representative of the GLBT community – people of all ages, income brackets, cultures and walks of life.
XV. Dissolution of Corporation
- Upon dissolution of the corporation, all assets of the corporation remaining after all debts of the corporation have been paid will be donated to one or more organizations, as determined by the Board of Directors, that have received from the Internal Revenue Service of the United States confirmation that the organization is exempt from federal income taxation under §501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Act of 1986, as amended, and whose mission is compatible with that of the corporation. The Board of Directors, Officers, and Staff Members are indemnified and not responsible for any amount of liability the corporation may or has encumbered.
XVI. Miscellaneous Provisions
Definitions “Written notice” means notice delivered either by hand, first class mail, electronic mail, Colorado Springs Pride Center Newsletters (both written and electronic), postings via social media websites, and postings on all websites owned and maintained by the Colorado Springs Pride Center. “Directors in office” means all those directors elected to be directors of the corporation whose terms have not expired and who have neither resigned nor been removed as directors. Written notice delivered by mail is deemed given on the date on which it is postmarked.
- No person having a financial interest in the outcome of a vote may participate in that vote.