One Colorado Director Steps Down, Optimistic About LGBT Rights In Colorado
In late August Brad Clark, Executive Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered advocacy group One Colorado, announced he was leaving the organization. While Clark has not said what he’s doing next, he did speak about what’s next for the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group.
One Colorado is a statewide advocacy group focused on alliance building in the LGBT community and beyond, promoting safe schools, rights for same sex couples as well as transgendered Coloradans.
Under Brad Clark, One Colorado diligently worked to pass civil union legislation during this year’s legislative session, and has worked on other issues surrounding health care and immigrant rights.
Clark joined One Colorado in 2010 as the organization’s first Executive Director after leading a coalition in his home state of Iowa to legalize same sex marriage in 2009.
His desire to advance equality in the relatively moderate Centennial State motivated him to settle here in Colorado and at One Colorado. Clark will most likely announce his next endeavor in the coming weeks.
You worked to legalize same sex marriage in Iowa. Are the two states similar, or was there some other reason you chose to work in Colorado?
"There’s no denying that Colorado, you really can’t beat the weather, you can’t beat a lot of things about the state, but I think the thing at my core is that I know what it’s like to grow up in a small town and I think about what I care the most deeply about is making sure that it is safe and welcoming for LGBT young people and gay and lesbian couples in any part of this country especially in places that aren’t in metro areas."
You’re leaving One Colorado at an important time for the LGBT community in Colorado, why?
"There is no mistaking the fact that Coloradans, I believe, are ready for a conversation about marriage. You know, while civil unions provide really critical protections for our families it still falls short of full dignity and protection of marriage. And we think that folks are ready to have that conversation. I think that I felt comfortable and had a huge sense of confidence of moving on to a new adventure because I have so much confidence in our team and our supporters because this is a really talented and motivated team of people that’s going to make sure that marriage gets over the finish line."
What’s next for One Colorado?
"I think one of the biggest issues that is facing our community is access to quality affordable healthcare. Transgendered folks are still denied every day access to healthcare, and it’s one of the biggest injustices that we see. You know we’ve made huge strides, but there’s a lot of work to do. And the other thing is making sure that young people are safe and supported in schools."
"I think we can all agree that no one should be bullied or harassed or face violence in our schools. And again we’ve made great strides, now over 150,000 students have access to a gay straight alliance. We have a comprehensive anti-bullying policy, but there’s a lot of work ahead of there. And I think that’s a work that One Colorado, it may not make the headlines, but it’s really the work that’s going to continue.”