Culture shift re:
homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.
Events during 2010-JAN illustrating
cultural shifts about sexual minorities
The acronym SSM refers to same-sex marriage;
GLBT refers to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual persons.
||2010-JAN-01: NH: Same-sex couples married on New Years Day: A New Hampshire law legalizing SSM was passed on 2009-JUN-03 and came into
effect on JAN-01. Dozens of same-sex couples with friends and families
appeared at the steps of the State Capital on New Years Eve waiting their turn
to be married after midnight. Jennifer Morton, 38, and Michelle Morrison, 38,
had waited for 13 years for this opportunity. Morton said: "It?s very
exciting. I'm really glad it happened in our lifetimes. I didn?t know if it
would." Rev. Steve Edington officiated their marriage. He said: "Personally, I
feel honored to be able to be a part of what I think is a historical event for
same-sex couples in New Hampshire." 1
||2010-JAN-11: CA: Testimony to challenge Prop. 8
and legalize SSM begins: Testimony at the lawsuit Perry v. Schwarzenegger
has begun at federal court in San Francisco. A lesbian couple and a gay
couple are attempting to overturn Prop. 8 and to take their case to the U.S.
Supreme Court. This could conceivably be a near-repeat of the famous Loving
v. Virginia case that legalized interracial marriage across the US. in the
1960s, except that it would deal with sexual orientation instead of race. More info.
||2010-JAN-16: MD: LGHT groups asked to participate in
parade: The Baltimore City Council President invited Trans-United and Equality Maryland to walk with her in the
upcoming Martin Luther King Parade on JAN-18.
||2010-JAN-23: USA: Family Research Council warns of impending
doom: This morning's mailing from the Family Research Council -- a fundamentalist Christian offshoot of Focus on the Family warned of a liberal legislative attack on what they describe as Christian values over the
following 120 days. They predict four pieces of legislation will pass:
Finally, they want everyone to send them money so that they can hold back
this onslaught of equality.
||The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would penalize employment
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, for every American.
||An end to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the military so that persons of all sexual orientations will
be able to serve openly,
||An end to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, so that same-sex married couples could obtain the same
benefits as opposite-sex married couples, and
||Requiring freedom of speech on the radio by passing a "Localism" doctrine that they don't define.
||2010-JAN-26: USA: eHarmony settles gay discrimination lawsuit: In a proposed settlement between the leading online dating service,
eHarmony, and some irate lesbian, gay, and possibly bisexual clients. The
company has allegedly agreed to pay about $500,000 to an estimated 150
Californians plus about $1.5 million in court and legal fees, but has not
admitted any wrongdoing. They also agreed to link its same-sex and opposite-sex
dating web sites and allow people to use both without paying duplicate fees;
this would have a major impact on costs for bisexuals. 2
||2010-JAN-27: President Obama commits to ending "Don't Ask, Don't
Tell (DADT):" In his State of the Union address to
Congress, President Obama promised to work toward abolishing the secrecy
about sexual orientation in the military. Near the end of his speech, sandwiched between a mention of
increased effort to prosecute civil rights infractions, and discussion of
equal pay for women, President Obama referred to two LGBT priorities: the
recently passed hate-crimes law and
the proposed repeal of DADT. He said:
"We finally strengthened our laws
to protect against crimes driven by hate. This year, I will work with
Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay
Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.
It's the right thing to do."
Robert Gates, defense secretary,
enthusiastically applauded. The armed forces representatives sat
expressionless. General John Shalikashvili, the current joint chiefs
chairperson, had also called for an end to the ban two years ago when he
said: "I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the
United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed
||2010-JAN-28: FL: President Obama's comments on DOMA & federal employee equal
benefits: At a townhall meeting in Tampa, a student asked the
president whether he is as committed to repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as
he is to repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy
that excludes openly gay persons from serving in the military. Referring to his
State of the Union message to Congress, President Obama said:
"Look, as I said last night, my belief is, is that a basic principle in our Constitution is that
if you're obeying the law, if you're following the rules, that you should be
treated the same, regardless of who you are. I think that principle applies to
gay and lesbian couples."
He continued by referring to the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligation Act (S. 1102 and H.R. 2517), which are
currently active in Congress. The bill would extend benefits to same-sex couples
equal to those currently given to opposite-sex partners of federal employees. He
"I think it's the right thing to do. ... [I]t makes sense for us to take
a leadership role in ensuring that people are treated the same. Look...
regardless of your personal opinions, the notion that somebody who's working
really hard for 30 years can't take their death benefits and transfer them to
the person that they love the most in the world and who has supported them all
their lives, that just doesn't seem fair. It doesn't seem right." 5
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Cindy Adams, "New Years Day: Couples marry at midnight as gay marriage
becomes legal in New Hampshire," The Examiner, 2010-JAN-02, at: http://www.examiner.com/
- "eHarmony agrees to settle gay discrimination suit," Associated Press,
2010-JAN-26, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
- Chris McGreal, "Barack Obama promises to end gay army recruit ban," Guardian
newspaper, 2010-JAN-28, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
- "Full text of Barack Obama's state of the union address," Guardian
newspaper, 2010-JAN-28, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
- "Obama uses stump to thump DOMA," Family Research Council mailing,
Copyright © 2010 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initial posting: 2010-JAN-02
Latest update: 2010-JAN-30
Author: B.A. Robinson