The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
First, The Bad and The Ugly
2012 had some horrific moments: October’s Superstorm Sandy devastated, with biblical proportions, the Eastern Seaboard, from New York to Ohio. In December, a lone gunman annihilated elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut. This followed the July “Batman” killings by another single “disturbed” shooter in a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado.
Despite these catastrophic events of 2012, there were bright moments, particularly with the election in November. Several inroads were made with the advancement of LGBT rights.
The highlights were:
· President Obama announced his support for marriage equality during an interview last May with ABC News.
· Voters at the ballot box decided to usher in gay marriage in the states of Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.
· Businesses such as Starbucks, Amazon, General Mills, Google, and Levi backed LGBT rights while Chick-Fil-A defended Defense of Marriage Act.
· Sixteen national polls found that a majority of Americans are now in favor of equality.
· California became the first state to ban reparative or gay conversion therapy ( trying to make patients straight) for minors .
· The documentary “Bully” had its movie rating changed to PG-13 so that teens could see it.
· Edie Windsor, a married lesbian in New York City, was billed $363,000 for federal estate taxes owed on her deceased partner’s estate. ( She was not considered legally married to her late wife, Thea Spyer. )
· Many LGBT supporters cut a wide swath to Congress, with six in the House and one in the Senate – the highest number ever in the 113th Congress. Some wins: Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin became the first out Senator, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema became the first bisexual member of Congress, Rep. Mark Pocan, who happens to be gay, took Baldwin’s House seat, Rep. Mark Takano from California was the first openly LGBT person of color to serve in Congress, Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado became the first openly gay LGBT parent in Congress, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney became New York State’s first gay congressman and Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, who is gay, and serves on the Foreign Affairs and Small Business committees, was re-elected.
2013 proves to be an exciting year already. The Supreme Court will be reviewing in late March some DOMA cases including Edie Windsor’s and the future of Proposition 8 in California.