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Culture shift re: homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.

Events during 2010-JAN illustrating
cultural shifts about sexual minorities

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

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

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Events:

bullet 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

bullet 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.

bullet 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.

bullet 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:
 
bullet The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would penalize employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, for every American.
bullet 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,
bullet 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
bullet Requiring freedom of speech on the radio by passing a "Localism" doctrine that they don't define.
Finally, they want everyone to send them money so that they can hold back this onslaught of equality.

bullet 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

bullet 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 forces." 4,5

bullet 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 said:
"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

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Site navigation:

Home > Homosexuality > Status > Acceptance > here

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

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References used:

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

  1. 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/
  2. "eHarmony agrees to settle gay discrimination suit," Associated Press, 2010-JAN-26, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
  3. Chris McGreal, "Barack Obama promises to end gay army recruit ban," Guardian newspaper, 2010-JAN-28, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
  4. "Full text of Barack Obama's state of the union address," Guardian newspaper, 2010-JAN-28, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
  5.  "Obama uses stump to thump DOMA," Family Research Council mailing, 2010-JAN-29.

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Copyright © 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initial posting: 2010-JAN-02
Latest update: 2010-JAN-30
Author: B.A. Robinson

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