Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 10 ISBL Stories of 2012

All over the place you're reading about the biggest stories of the year, so, well, since I'm not one to lead the way, I'll follow along and share my Top Stories of 2012.
Barack Obama Finally Evolves!
On May 9,2012, in an interview fro ABC News, President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to support marriage equality. 
 I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
For me, it was far and away the most powerful message sent to the world about LGBT equality I have ever heard, and I thank him every day for saying it.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain Chick-fil-A became the target of nationwide discussion, boycott, vandalism, and, in some places, celebration, when it was revealed that the company had donated more than $5 million to anti-LGBT groups.
Company president, and Asshat-In-Chief, Dan Cathy added fuel to the fire when he said he opposes marriage equality and operates his fast-food chain according to “biblical principles.”
Let that sink in: a chicken restaurant operated on Biblical principles, except for "judge not lest ye be judged" and "love thy neighbor as thyself" apparently.
The LGBT community and its allies called for boycotts, while the soon-to-be irrelevant FoxNews talking-head Mike Huckabee called for a national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.
In the end, Chick-fil-A-Hole is still a hateful company, but, hey, I've never eaten there and I never will.
Ellen Beats Out One Million Moms
When department store chain JCPenney announced that Ellen DeGeneres was its new spokeswoman, the ultraconservative group One Million Moms--which a membership of far, far less than their name suggests--called for a boycott and demanded that DeGeneres be fired because of her lesbianism. 
JCP stood up for her and kept DeGeneres on the payroll.
Which is why I shopped there before Ellen, and why I shop there now.
North Carolina Pastors Panic
With interfaith coalitions that support marriage equality sprouting up around the country, anti-LGBT conservative Christians went on the defensive. 
One North Carolina "pastor", Sean Harris, said parents should “punch” and “crack” the “limp wrists” of children who exhibit gender-variant behavior, while a video of another "pastor", Charles Worley, asking that all LGBT people be put in concentration camps until we all die off, went viral.
In the end, the people, well, some of the people, of North Carolina , voted to add discrimination to their state Constitution by banning same-sex marriage.
Frank Ocean Comes Out
To be honest, I'd never heard of Frank Ocean until that day he came out.
Ocean, best known for being part of the hip-hop collective Odd Future, used a Tumblr post to reveal that his first love was another man. 
Then came his critically acclaimed, Grammy nominated, Channel Orange, and widespread support from the LGBT community, hip-hop fans, and his fellow music artists like Jay-Z and 50 Cent.
The GOP’s Presidential Homophobes
Looking to rile up their alleged base in an election year, Republican presidential candidates doubled down on their homophobic rhetoric. 
Rick Santorum said it’s better for kids to have a father in jail than to be raised by a same-sex couple and that, as president--which is a laugh riot in and of itself--he would invalidate existing same-sex marriages. 
A pissy, and allegedly self-loathing closeted homosexual himself, Rick Perry released an ad bemoaning the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” 
The GOP ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan fell into lockstep on nearly every one of each other’s antigay positions: Both opposed marriage equality, opposed the repeal of DADT, vowed to keep the Defense of Marriage Act the law of the land, and opposed hate-crimes legislation. 
Both men were sounded defeated in November, bested by two men who had come out earlier in the year in support of marriage equality.
That says volumes.
Prop 8 and DOMA Await Supreme Hearing
Several marriage equality cases were scheduled for consideration by the Supreme Court, including the challenge to California’s Proposition 8 and lesbian widow Edie Windsor’s challenge to the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. 
Despite Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s indication to students at the University of Colorado Boulder that the Supremes would take up DOMA in the next year, the justices declined to place any of the marriage cases on the docket in advance of the November election.
We're still waiting....
Maine Becomes Equal
Maine voters made history by affirming same-sex marriage.
The state reversed a 2009 ban on marriage equality, by approving Question 1--granting equality to gay and lesbian citizens--by a vote of  54%to 46%.

Maryland Becomes Marry Land
Maryland voters also made history on that same November Tuesday by becoming among the first in the nation's history to affirm marriage equality at the ballot box. 
In March of this year, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed into law a marriage equality bill that had successfully passed through both chambers of the state legislature, but before the law could take effect, opponents gathered enough signatures to refer the issue to voters with a referendum.
But voters passed that vote.
So, in Maryland, the governor was for equality, its House and Senate were for equality, and then its voters were for equality.
It's a pretty clear message, eh?

Washington Goes Equal
Washington also added to the number of marriage equality states when 52% of voters approved same-sex marriage, while 48% just weren't thinking correctly.
Washington becomes the ninth state--along with the District of Columbia--to legalize same-sex marriage, and among the first to do so at the ballot box. 

Minnesota Says 'No' To Discrimination
After Minnesotans solidly defeated a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in November, and also voted out the state House and Senate Republican majorities who placed the proposal on the ballot, pro-LGBT state legislators plan to push a marriage equality bill in early 2013. 
Representative Alice Hausman and Senator John Marty, both Democratic Farm Labor party members, say they will push for the bill to be enacted before Governor Mark Dayton issues his February budget While the incoming legislative leadership has not yet endorsed such a push, Dayton has pledged to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.
All in all, a good year for LGBT Americans.
What were you Top Stories of 2012?


the dogs' mother said...

Glad we made the top stories of the year. See you on the other side -bottom of the cliff, hanging off a branch like Wiley Coyote or meep meeping our way to....

anne marie in philly said...

great stories all; now about this cliff thing...

Cubby said...

Great compilation, Bob. HNY!