2011: The year of gay rights

2011: The year of LGBT rights

2011: The year of gay rights
01 January 2012

It might lack the drama of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, but 2011 will be marked in the history books as a monumental year for LGBT equality.

National Public Radio examined the state of  gay equality in  an end of the year round-up. From the demise of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to marriage equality in New York, LGBT rights became more mainstream in the United States.

"Increasingly, people are seeing LGBT people as not these sort of existential, scary, bogy-monster threats to the institution of marriage, but people who have a right to equal treatment under the law," writer Dan Savage said in the radio piece.

The columnist, instrumental in the It Gets Better campaign, also pointed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent United Nations speech on gay rights.

While few doubt the importance of marriage rights in New York, the end of DADT is probably the most significant gay rights moment since the Supreme Court's 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision striking down anti-sodomy laws.

From December 1993 until this past September, DADT was the United State's official policy on gays in the armed forces. Gay sailors and soldiers could not be discriminated against, but LGBT troops were not to openly discuss their orientations. If a soldier's sexuality became public, no matter the manner, he/she could be dismissed. The  Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an organization focused on gay equality in the military, estimates over 14,000 troops were discharged under DADT.

During the debate for the policy change, many argued allowing open service would be detrimental to unit cohesion. Gen. James Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, voiced early reservations about the inclusion of gay troops. However, he recently announced open service was a "non-event." 



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Dan Savage reviews the book Does Jesus Really Love Me

Dan Savage reviews the book Does Jesus Really Love Me in the New York Times' Sunday Book Review
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Elton John says it's a 'total disgrace' Donna Summer is not in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

'Especially when I see the second-rate talent that has been inducted.'
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UKIP politician: Gay marriage cannot exist in a ‘truly free society’

David McNally, the only UKIP representative in Stormont, has described the proposal to introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland as an 'unacceptable intrusion by the state'
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Support for gay marriage rises across all US states

Same-sex marriage has become more widely accepted across the US in the last year.
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Kenya school suspends 11 girls for 'lesbianism'

The girls deny the allegation and say they were beaten by their principals
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Madrid to host 2017 World Gay Pride

Madrid, the capital of Spain, was chosen as the venue to host World Pride in 2017, successfully outbidding Berlin and Sydney 
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Australian coffee chain denies discrimination after Christian lobby donation

Gloria Jean’s Coffees donated $30,000 Australian dollars to the Australian Christian Lobby in 2010
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Hairstylist killed by gay lover in India

Well-known hairstylist found strangled and robbed, three men arrested
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What’s next for gay marriage in Australia?

After national and state governments rejected same-sex marriage bills last month, Gay Star News asks Australian Marriage Equality what’s next