Amid Daily Struggles, Gay Rights Movement Embraces Watershed Moments
From the sparks lit at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 to the whirl of same-sex marriage laws, the gay rights movement has made a lot of advances. But has it now reached a plateau? Nine states and Washington, D.C., now legally recognize gay marriage, and the Supreme Court will take up same-sex marriage cases this session. American support for gay marriage has crossed a threshold, the Pew Research Center finds, and now more people support it than oppose it. With the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," the Pentagon is moving toward extending some of the benefits for married heterosexual couples to same-sex couples. In his inaugural address, President Obama mentioned gay rights alongside the civil rights and women's rights movements. "For me, at my age to see the president of the United States ... compare gay rights to the civil rights movement — I never thought I'd see this day," says veteran journalist Hank Plante, one of the first gay reporters on TV.