The 2010s revisited

I wrote this blog entry over a year ago as a fictional retrospective on the 2010s from 50 years out and what it meant for LGBT equality. It occurred to me recently that much of what is written there has come pass, so I thought I'd look back at that checklist. Granted everything in the 2013 or prior category had already happened, but the rest was speculative.

2010 – the first time married gay couples were counted in the census
2011 – marked the end of DADT
2012 – saw the first sitting President to support marriage equality, was the first time marriage equality became a winning issue at the ballot box, and saw the first openly gay US Senator elected
2013 – the Supreme Court case that marked the beginning of the end to DOMA
2014 – challenges to marriage discrimination laws were happening in every state by the end of this year, the ban on gay scouts was lifted
2015 - the year an ENDA executive order was issued
2016 - the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land across the states
2017 - the transgender military service ban finally fell
2018 - the ban on gay scouts leaders was lifted, the ban on gay blood donors was lifted
2019 - the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that in many ways launched the modern LGBT equal rights movement

2014 - In 2014 the Supreme Court did hear the case, and their decision lead to the 4th circuit's decision that lead to courts here in NC decided that marriage equality was constitutionally required as of October 10th, 2014. So I feel right about that one.

2015 - The employment non-discrimination executive order came in 2014, ahead of my schedule. So I was wrong on that one, in a good way. Legislation would go much farther and could cover other issues beyond employment, so there's still work to be done like passing the Equality Act that was introduced in Congress last week.

2016 - The Supreme Court brought marriage equality to everywhere but 13 counties in Alabama that are still holding out this year rather than next.

2017 - The transgender military ban coming down was my prediction. The military is actually making moves in this direction. It's not finalized yet to my knowledge, but it seems to be on track.

2018 - I thought this was when the scout leadership ban would be lifted, but it turns out that was yesterday instead. I also thought this is when the gay & bi blood donation ban would end. The FDA actually recently changed it from a lifetime to ban, to a ban that only requires 1 year of abstinence before any time you want to donate. In many ways that's essentially still a lifetime ban, but it shows that advocacy can make a difference.

2019 - 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Luckily that one is set in stone, pun fully intended.

There is progress to make on these issues and so many more, but as of yesterday every item on this checklist I wrote up last year has a full or partial check beside it. And that's worth celebrating. Activism has no finish line. But we can celebrate when we finish one chapter and start one anew.



Thanks, Jake

Advocacy does work, something of which folks need to be reminded, from time to time.

Happy to share

I do think things are getting better. I thought I'd also share what I wrote for facebook on the day of the marriage decision. I think it was my most liked post at nearly 200 likes and over 20 comments. This stuff feels important since so much of my "real world" activism was birthed with online activism, blogging, and social media.

When Ted and I started dating we were still crimes against nature under law in 2003 until the Lawrence v Texas decision. When we got married in 2009 we had to travel over 700 miles to do so legally (after Prop 8 messed up our original tentative wedding plans) and then come home and not have it recognized here. It took extra time and financial resources to create a somewhat similar but lesser legal framework. Fighting against the anti-gay amendment one at the ballot box and in the courts took a lot of energy, but helped lead to marriage equality in North Carolina. Thanks to today's decision we could travel anywhere in the country without our marriage turning on and off depending on which state we're passing through. There's safety, security, and freedom in that. It's still sinking in. And there's more work to be done. But today is a day of joy and love.