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." 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Openly gay footballer to lead Pride parade in Melbourne

Aussie rules footballer Jason Ball, who came out last September to fight homophobia, will lead 18th Pride March Victoria
No thumbnail available

Gay Star Travel Expo 2015 exhibitor profile: Gaydio

One-stop travel shop takes place at London's Heaven nightclub this Saturday (17 Jan)
No thumbnail available

40% of the world’s gays still face being criminalized in their homelands

A new analysis by The Mirror newspaper has found that 40% of the world’s gay population are living in countries that still criminalize gay sex – including a handful with the death penalty
No thumbnail available

Australian former judge says he is a 'second-class citizen' because he cannot marry

Retired High Court of Australia judge is questioned by senate inquiry into legalising same-sex marriage
No thumbnail available

Bangladesh jails ‘married’ lesbian couple

Love blossomed in a Bangladeshi factory but their happiness ended with arrest, medical gender tests and prison
No thumbnail available

Election buzz in Washington DC

A trip to the US capital highlights how this city’s intellectual and creative buzz inspires and entertains the nation’s leaders – and its many visitors
No thumbnail available

The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons is now officially out as a gay man

Two-time Emmy winner confirms he has been in 10-year relationship
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay TV commentators under scrutiny

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation launches Accountability Project
No thumbnail available

Trans tortured and brutally killed in Mexico

Another transsexual has been found dead, tortured and brutally killed in Apodaca, Mexico.
No thumbnail available