1969 - Present
Created by kadamson on May 11, 2010
Last updated: 05/15/10 at 11:39 PM
LGBT Rights: Protest and Reform has no followers yet. Be the first one to follow.
Currently same-sex couples can marry only in New Hampshire, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut granting full state benefits to these couples. Multiple states offer partial benefits through Civil Unions. A Federal Court Case 'Perry v. Schwarzenegger' which could revoke California's 'Proposition 8' (disallowing same-sex marriages) which could potentially affect the validity of DOMA nationwide (Burns).
The Defense of Marriage Act, better known as DOMA, was signed into law by Bill Clinton, a supposed gay supporter. The Act states that marriage is "legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife" (McDonald). Therefore, regardless of whether or not a state recognizes a union, same-sex couples are denied more than 1,100 federal benefits and obligations, including Social Security an incredibly obvious show of Federal discrimination. DOMA is a giant step backwards for equality reform sparking massive nationwide protests (McDonald, Ness 1347).
In 1993 the Gay Community, who had voted mostly as a block for the Democratic Party for over 20 years, showed massive support for Bill Clinton raising almost $3.5 million for his campaign. In return Clinton promised to revoke the anti-gay military law. The reform did not happen as the Gay community wanted instead resulting in the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy in which expulsion is still a punishment for homosexual activity. This policy is highly debated today. Regardless, the Homosexual community continued to support Clinton and the Democratic Party raising almost $1.6 million for the party at an annual luncheon between 1997 to 2001. In return Clinton nominated homosexual Andrew Tobias to be Treasurer of the DNC, the highest position of an openly gay person in a major American Political Party to date (Ness 1347).
After running twice Milk won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 making him the first openly gay person to receive a place in American Government. Milk worked tirelessly to pass multiple Gay Rights Laws, many successfully, and to connect the Gay Community with other minority groups. In 1978 he was shot and killed by Dan White a former Supervisor to the San Francisco Board receiving a prison sentence of less than eight years. Due to this light sentence many protests erupted in the streets of San Francisco some of which turned into what is now known as the White Night Riots. His murder also brought attention to Hate Crimes and the Gay Rights Movement across America ("Milk")
Baker and McConnell, Hennepin County, Minnesota, applied for the first gay marriage license which was quickly denied. It was appealed all the way to the supreme court who refused to hear the case. In protest they apply for marriage in another county and are granted the first Homosexual Marriage License in American History. The couple remains together and have filed suit against the IRS for not acknowledging their partnership after they had for 30 years (Ness 1346).
Police raid a Gay Bar in New York, as tempers flared and violence started riots began starting the Civil Rights Movement in America (Ness 1344).