First time court invalidated discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Issue: Challenge to Amendment 2 of CO constitution which says that CO laws should not adopt legislation entitling homosexuals to be entitled to claim minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination.
Holding: SC held that Amendment 2 of the CO constitution discriminated based on sexual orientation, said failed rational basis b/c there was no legitimate basis for denying homosexuals the same political process available to others. Ct says that “Amendment 2 fails, indeed defies, [rational basis] inquiry.”
Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist (dissenting): Says goal of the amendment is to preserve sexual mores, not to harm homosexuals. Argues that the majority is saying that there is not equal protection w/o preferential treatment. Adds that majority does not confront the issue as to whether homosexuals should be afforded special protection.
Notes: In entire majority opinion, the court never mentions Bowers, even though they say they’re overturning it.