Pat Steadman, champion for the underdog

Gov. John Hickenlooper high-fives Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, after signing Senate Bill 11, establishing civil unions for same-sex couples in Colorado, on March 21, 2013, at the History Colorado Center in Denver. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

So, Pat Steadman is finally going to let One Colorado honor him for all the work he has done to better the lives of the state’s gay and lesbian residents.

The former state senator has been passionate about gay rights for more than two decades — he cried in the streets of Denver the night Coloradans in 1992 passed Amendment 2, which prohibited laws from protecting gays from from discrimination.

“It was a very volatile, explosive evening with lots of raw emotion. It was a huge wake-up call,” Steadman said in an interview with The Denver Post in 2013.

That’s the year the legislature finally passed his measure to allow gay couples to enter into civil unions. It was a bittersweet victory for the Denver Democrat — his partner of 11 years died of pancreatic cancer a few months before the session began.

Steadman, who was term limited after the 2016 election,  will receive One Colorado’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver on Aug. 26.

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One Colorado honors Ted Trimpa (again!), Kristin Strohm and others

Attorney and lobbyist Ted Trimpa will finally receive his sward from One Colorado. (Photo by CyrusMcCrimmon/The Denver Post /Provided to SOS)
Attorney and lobbyist Ted Trimpa will finally receive his sward from One Colorado. (Photo by CyrusMcCrimmon/The Denver Post /Provided to SOS)

One of my last stories for The Denver Post was a front-page piece on gay activist Ted Trimpa and how he changed Colorado and a nation.

Trimpa was going to be honored a year ago with a lifetime achievement award by One Colorado, the state’s largest advocacy organization for gay and transgender rights.

The more Trimpa and I talked in 2015 for the story the more I realized his life is a best-selling book. I still feel that way. I mean, a Kansas farm kid ends up helping President Obama develop his policy toward Cuba?

Kristin Strohm with The Starboard Group. (Starboard photo)
Kristin Strohm with The Starboard Group. (Starboard photo)

And the story is proof that Colorado history repeats itself. Trimpa has worked on ballot measures involving cigarette taxes and oil-and-gas development, which are issues again this year.

But Trimpa had to miss his own party because of a medical emergency so he is receiving the award this Saturday at One Colorado’s annual gala, which honors allies for the cause.

In addition to Trimpa, One Colorado is honoring GOP fundraiser juggernaut Kristin Strohm of The Starboard Group. Among her clients: Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

She was a founding member and served on the board of Coloradans for Freedom, the group that successfully organized conservatives to advocate for the passage of civil unions at the state legislature. She is credited with guiding another client, Congressman Mike Coffman, into changing his views on gay rights.

Also receiving awards from One Colorado are Nita and Rudy Gonzales and the Gonzales family and Matthew Huron.

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