(Extensions of Remarks - May 23, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E735]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                           HON. DIANA DeGETTE

                              of colorado

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, May 22, 2013

  Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize Colorado State Senator 
Pat Steadman, who today was honored by the White House as a ``Harvey 
Milk Champion of Change'' for his commitment to equality and public 
  Pat has championed equality for LGBT Coloradans for over 20 years. 
While studying at the University of Colorado School of Law, Pat fought 
against ballot issues that targeted gay, lesbian, bisexual and 
transgender communities. After law school, Pat worked to oppose 
Amendment 2 on the 1992 Colorado general election ballot. When that 
anti-gay amendment passed, Pat co-founded the non-profit organization 
that spearheaded the lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of 
Amendment 2; the case eventually went all the way to the Supreme Court. 
This landmark case Romer v. Evans declared Amendment 2 unconstitutional 
and established the first major court precedent protecting the equal 
rights of LGBT Americans.
  In 2009, Pat was selected to fill the vacant Colorado Senate seat in 
the 31st District. Since that time, he has worked hard to protect and 
defend the rights of all his constituents and continue his fight for 
equality. Last year, his partner of many years Dave Misner was 
diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died in September after a brief 
battle. Dave was also a champion for equality, and I know he would have 
been so proud when this year Pat introduced for the third time the 
Colorado Civil Unions Act, which legalized civil unions for any two 
unmarried adults, regardless of gender. This landmark was signed into 
law by Governor John Hickenlooper on March 21, 2013. I was honored to 
be able to perform some of the first civil union ceremonies in Denver 
earlier this month. The joyful celebrations reinforced the fact that 
Pat has achieved extraordinary things that empower and inspire his 
fellow Coloradoans. And I know Dave would be even more proud of Pat 
  Yesterday, Pat visited the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. and 
shared online his favorite inscription at the Memorial. On the 
southeast interior panel, he was moved by an inscription from an 1816 
letter by Jefferson to a friend that reads: ``I am not an advocate for 
frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions 
must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that 
becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, 
new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change 
of circumstances, institutions must advance to keep pace with the 
times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which 
fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the 
regimen of their barbarous ancestors.''
  Pat, your service to Colorado has embodied this quote, as you work to 
keep our laws and institutions moving hand in hand with progress. On 
behalf of a grateful state, thank you.