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Culture shift re: homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.

Events during 2009-JUN illustrating
cultural shifts about sexual minorities

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See additional events during May concerning
homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, etc.

The acronym SSM refers to same-sex marriage;
GLBT refers to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual persons.

Events:

bullet2009-JUN-01: USA: President Obama declares June to be Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Month: The beginning of the gay liberation movement occurred four decades ago this month. It was triggered by a police attack on the Stonewall Inn in New York City, NY.

His proclamation said, in part:

"Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration -- in both the White House and the Federal agencies -- openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism."
"The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect."


He listed some of the initiatives that the government is involved in:
bulletDecriminalization of same-sex behavior around the world.
bulletHate crimes laws
bulletSupporting civil unions
bulletSupporting federal rights for LGBT couples
bulletOutlawing discrimination in employment
bulletEnsuring adoption rights
bulletEnding the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy in the Armed forces.

He concluded:

"These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity." 1

bullet2009-JUN-03: NH: Governor signs SSM bill into law: The House and Senate were able to establish compromise wording on their SSM bill that both could accept. Governor Lynch signed it into law. New Hampshire is thus the sixth state to legalize marriage for all loving committed couples, both opposite-sex and same-sex. 2 More info.
 
bullet

2009-JUN-12: India: Anti-gay law may be reconsidered: Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was created during the 19th century during colonial times to criminalize same-sex sexual behavior. Law minister Veerappa Moily has indicted that the government may revisit the law and liberalize it. Ashok Row Kavi, consultant for UNAIDS and UNDP, said: "It will be the best thing for the national AIDS control program since efforts to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS will no longer be impeded by the law." During 2001, Naz Foundation, a non-profit gay-positive group, had petitioned the Indian high court to "read down" section 377. The health ministry supported the petition the law ministries opposed it. The high court has recently finished hearing arguments on the petition. 3

bullet

2009-JUN-12: USA: Proposed change to gay immigration: The Senate Judiciary Committee held a meeting to hear public input on the "Uniting American Families Act" (UAFA). Many countries, like Canada, France and Germany, recognize loving committed same-sex couples in their immigration legislation. The U.S. does not; they are treated only as friends. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) have introduced bills in the Senate (S. 424) and House (H.R. 1024) that would allow citizens to sponsor their same-sex partners in a similar way as heterosexual spouses currently petition for foreign-born husbands and wives. Leahy said in an interview: "I think it's a matter of fairness." 4,5,6
 

bullet

2009-JUN-16: Federal benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees: President Obama signed a presidential memorandum that grant a limited number of employee benefits to same-sex partners of federal workers. More details
 

bullet

2009-JUN-19: Federal Census Bureau will count same-sex marriages: During the Bush administration, the Census Bureau refused to count same-sex couples, citing the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as justification. In a major win for the GLBT community, the Bureau will now count same-sex marriages (SSMs), civil unions and domestic partnerships. The next major census is due in 2010.

Steve Jost, a spokesman for the Census Bureau, said:

"They will be counted, and they ought to report the way they see themselves. In the normal process of reports coming out after the census of 2010, I think the country will have a good data set on which to discuss this phenomenon that is evolving in this country."

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that:

"The president and the administration are committed to a fair and accurate count of all Americans. We're in the midst of determining the best way to ensure that gay and lesbian couples are accurately counted."

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, called the policy change a significant step:

"The census, I like to say, is on its face about numbers. But what the census is really about is telling the story of our country. Many people, including people in the administration, are realizing just how important it is to make sure that (lesbian and gay) Americans are not rendered invisible." 7
bullet2009-JUN-28: Unitarian Universalists recognize Lawyer Eric Isaacson: Rev. William Sinkford, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), gave the President's Annual Award for Volunteer Service to Eric Isaacson, a lawyer from San Diego, CA. Isaacson has provided pro bono legal services to various UUA groups  so that the voice of religious liberals would be heard in important court cases, including those related to marriage equality in California. 8
 
bullet2009-JUN-29: President Obama pledges to work for GLBT equality: At a White House ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots -- the police attack that triggered the gay liberation movement -- President Obama pledged his effort to end the military Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and to fulfill other campaign promises leading to equality for LGBTs. Referring to DOMA, he said:
"We have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides. And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law."
Regarding DADT, he said:
"I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security ? Ending the policy requires an act of Congress and will take time." 9

Site navigation:

Home > Homosexuality > Status > Acceptance > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Status > Acceptance > here

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today. 

  1. "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, 2009," The White House, 2009-JUN-01, at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/
  2. "New Hampshire Legalizes Homosexual Marriage," CitizenLink, 2009-JUN-03, at: http://www.citizenlink.org/
  3. "Moily signals rethink on anti-gay law," Times of India, 2009-JUN-12, at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
  4. Daryl C. Hannah, "When Same-Sex Partners Meet Immigration Law," DiversityInc, 2009-JUN-12, at:  http://www.diversityinc.com/
  5. "Uniting American Families Act," Human Rights Campaign, 2009-MAR-17, at: http://www.hrc.org/laws_and_elections/
  6. "S.424," bill text, at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/
  7. Lisa Leff, "White House: Census to better count gay couples," Associated Press, 2009-JUN-19, at: http://www.google.com/
  8. "UUA Honors Eric Isaacson for Marriage Equality Work," UUA-L Digest, Volume 77, Issue 1, 2009-JUL-01
  9. Kevin Canessa Jr., "Obama: I'll Work to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' for Military Members," DiversityInc., 2009-JUN-30, at: http://www.diversityinc.com/

Copyright © 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initial posting: 2009-JUN-03
Latest update: 2000-JUL-02
Author: B.A. Robinson

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