Late yesterday afternoon, the Colorado Title Board reconsidered two ballot initiatives which took aim at the rights of transgender people in Colorado. The result: both initiatives had their titles revoked. Unless proponents can rework the initiatives and resubmit them by 3:00 PM tomorrow, neither will appear on the November ballot. As of publication, proponents for one of the two measures say they intend to resubmit their proposal.

The first of these initiatives, #175 “Prohibit Certain Medical Procedures for Minors,” would have effectively banned any kind of gender-affirming care for anyone under 18 years old. The second, #220 “Public Athletics Programs for Minors,” would have forced trans students to participate in sports according to their sex assigned at birth.

A spokesperson for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office confirmed to the Colorado Times Recorder that the initiatives had their titles struck, and that the deadline to resubmit for the 2024 ballot was on April 5.

#175 was represented by Wayde Goodall, a Focus on the Family contributor, and Darcy Schoening, the former co-chair of the El Paso County chapter of Moms for Liberty who currently serves as Director of Special Initiatives for the Colorado Republican Party. #220 was represented by Rich Guggenheim, spokesman for Colorado’s chapter of Gays Against Groomers, along with Evergreen resident Gina Steadman.

Both initiatives are endorsed by the Colorado Republican Party. 

All four of the representatives came to the Title Board hearing on Wednesday to testify in defense of the initiatives. Greg Lopez, a member of the coalition “Protect Kids Colorado” which organized multiple of these ballot initiatives, also attended the meeting to testify. Formerly Mayor of Parker and a candidate for Governor in 2022, Lopez was recently nominated to run in a special election to fill U.S. Rep. Ken Buck’s seat following his resignation. 

Steadman, Guggenheim (left), and Lopez (right) at the April 3 Title Board hearing.

The initiatives were denied on the basis that they violated the single subject rule. According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s website, all ballot initiatives “must be limited to a single subject, which must be clearly expressed in its title. In other words, the text of the measure must concern only one subject and one distinct purpose.”

Opponents of the ballot initiatives focused on the single subject rule, claiming the measures were too broad in scope for the Title Board to allow them. In the case of #175, opponents argued that the text of the measure meant it could penalize healthcare providers who treat trans youth, even if the treatment does not fall under the umbrella of gender-affirming care procedures. Likewise with #220, opponents argued that the measure would in practice also regulate non-governmental organizations that “host, organize, or facilitate public school athletics,” as well as private school athletics programs that compete with public schools.


Despite the time crunch, proponents are intent on resubmitting at least one of the measures. Despite the fact that the Title Board voted 3-0 to strike down #175, Schoening said that the challenge had no legal merit, and accused LGBTQ advocacy group One Colorado of wanting to turn kids trans.

“The challenge is born out of One Colorado’s ever increasing thirst for creating more ‘transgender’ kids, not out of legal merit,” Schoening told the Colorado Times Recorder. “We will resubmit [#175] as allowed per the Colorado Constitution and continue to work to save children from adults who harm them with dangerous and life-altering medical transitioning procedures.”

At least one ballot initiative targeting the trans community remains approved for the November ballot. “Parental Notification of Gender Incongruence” would require that public schools notify parents if a student says they identify as a gender other than what they were assigned at birth. 

The measure is represented by Erin Lee, best known for her failed lawsuit against the Poudre School District over alleged violations of parental rights, and Lori Gimelshteyn, founder of Colorado Parent Advocacy Network. This measure was approved and had a title set by the Title Board at the April 3 meeting.

A second parental rights measure by Lee and Gimelshteyn, “Parental Rights Concerning Public Education Records,” also had its title set.

Other iterations of “Public Athletics Programs for Minors” and “Parental Notification of Gender Incongruence” are currently awaiting a review by the Colorado Supreme Court.

Update 4/17/24: After being resubmitted by proponents with altered language, initiative #175 was again rejected by the Title Board.