Thursday, December 17, 2009

Five States Down, 45 to Go for Equal Marriage Rights in the U.S.A.

"Five states in 10 years may not seem like an significant accomplishment for gay marriage advocates, but for men and women who thought they might never be able to marry their same sex partners, the victories have been monumental."

ABC News reports:
When the last decade ended, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community was still reeling from a series of early gay marriage defeats and the beating death of Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming college student targeted because he was gay.

Now, gay Americans can marry in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa and -- starting on Jan. 1 -- New Hampshire. Various incarnations of legal unions short of marriage are recognized in several other states.

"When you're being denied your equality, nothing short of full equality is good enough. And so, it is hard to be patient," said Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Boston-based Family Equality Council. "Having said that, we are so much further than we were 10 years ago. And even five years ago, when we thought things were so hard." The federal Defense of Marriage Act remains a major target for gay marriage advocates, many of whom blame the eight-year Bush administration for stalling equal rights progress on several fronts. READ MORE