While much of the media is still concentrating on the passage of anti-gay legislation back in November, many gains for LGBT equality are being made across the nation.
- Just yesterday, our community and elected officials made these changes!
- Columbus, Ohio, and Binghamton, NY's, city councils both, extended their nondiscrimination laws to include discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
- Sioux City, Iowa's, city council decided to delay action on a proposal that would publicly oppose marriage equality.
- A federal judge denied Birmingham, Alabama's, request that the court dismiss an anti-gay discrimination lawsuit.
- Ankeny, Iowa's, school board denied a request to bar children from reading the children's book And Tango Makes Three, which features two male penguins who raise a chick together.
- New York's governor mandated that gay parents be allowed to appear on birth certificates.
- And since the election:
- Nov. 12: Same-sex couples legally wed in Connecticut for the first time.
- Nov. 14: Michigan's House voted to extend hate crimes protections to the LGBT community.
- Nov. 18: Vermont Sen. John Campbell introduced a marriage equality bill.
- Nov. 25: a Florida judge declared the state's anti-gay adoption law unconstitutional.
- Dec. 1: Indiana's leaders said a ban on marriage equalityis unlikely in '09.
- Dec. 5: Alaska's Senator-elect told the New York Times he supported partner benefits for gay couples.
- Dec. 8: Cleveland, Ohio, enacted a domestic partner registry and the Virginia Supreme Court granted child-visitation rights to lesbian parent
- Dec. 9: Iowa's Supreme Court began hearings on marriage equality case Varnum v. Brian.
- Dec. 10: the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission released a report that explains the state's civil union law is not adequate, and that the legislature must take action to ensure marriage equality.
With the discouraging losses on Nov. 4, it's important to point out all of our steps forward and to know that for the most part these issues have been covered by the media in a fair, accurate, and inclusive way. Fair media visibility of our community on the local level-everywhere from Florida to Alaska to Iowa-makes a big change in the way our neighbors perceive us.
In addition to the media coverage in your community, sharing your story with your community helps change hearts and minds too! Check out GLAAD's Announcing Equality toolkit to learn all of the ways to share your story locally: http://www.glaad.org/AnnouncingEquality/