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  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: acluco.org/redemption. Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at https://action.aclu.org/give/support-aclu-colorado

  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

Statements by ACLU & Other Advocates on New Marriage Equality Litigation

Today, a challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was filed on behalf of multiple same-sex couples in Colorado. Following the announcement of this litigation, the statements below were released by state LGBT advocacy group One Colorado, ACLU of Colorado, GLBT Community Center of Colorado, Colorado GLBT Bar Association, and the Faithful Voices Coalition.

Dave Montez, Executive Director of One Colorado:

“Just like thousands of other loving, committed couples across Colorado, the courageous plaintiffs who brought forth today’s case simply want to take care of their families and make a lifelong promise to the person they love. We share their goal of achieving marriage equality as quickly as possible, but we also want to ensure that victory endures – which means creating a climate where all Coloradans are free to live openly in their own communities. There’s a difference between having a civil union or marriage license and feeling comfortable enough to put a picture of your spouse on your desk at work. So as this issue moves toward resolution – either by our courts or at the ballot box – it’s critical that we keep building public support for the freedom to marry by talking to Coloradans about why marriage matters to our families. And One Colorado is proud to be doing that work right now, in every corner of our state.”

Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, Executive Director of ACLU of Colorado:

“The American Civil Liberties Union has been working for decades to secure marriage equality throughout the country, including here in Colorado. Over the past few years and especially the last few months, we’ve seen an astonishing and welcome shift toward Americans embracing equality and the freedom to marry. As the country progresses, Colorado’s marriage ban increasingly places our state at a competitive and moral disadvantage. We recognize the courage and resolve of these couples and their attorneys as they pursue, through the courts, the freedom to marry that all Coloradans deserve. And as advocates for full equality, we will continue to facilitate the important conversation across our state about why all families deserve the full dignity and protection that only marriage can provide.”

Mindy Barton, Legal Director of the GLBT Community Center of Colorado:

“The GLBT Community Center of Colorado has been supporting equality for gays and lesbians in this state for almost four decades. As this litigation moves forward, we are proud of the plaintiffs and their attorneys for standing up to show that no one should be treated differently just because of who they are and who they love. In parallel with these efforts, we know it’s vital to keep doing the important work of educating the public and talking to the people of Colorado about why marriage matters to all loving, committed couples – gay and straight alike. And The Center remains dedicated to having that important statewide conversation.”

Kyle Velte, President of the Colorado GLBT Bar Association:

“As an organization comprised of LGBT attorneys and focused on equality, it is inspiring to see this litigation filed. We recognize that litigation is one of several ways to achieve full marriage equality in this state, and we applaud the courage of the attorneys and plaintiffs – some of whom are members of our Association – as they move forward in this important legal fight.”

Jeremy Shaver, Spokesperson for the Faithful Voices Coalition, a coalition comprised of 215 faith leaders and 60 faith-based organizations in support of marriage equality:

“As people of faith, we believe in the Golden Rule – to treat others as we would want to be treated. In light of the litigation filed today, it is important to remember that freedom means freedom for everyone, and none of us should be treated differently just because of who we are. We believe marriage is best defined by love, commitment, and the ability to protect your family – and that is why we support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples across our state.”



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