News items affecting gays, lesbians, bisexuals & transsexuals
2011-September: Accelerating steps toward
equality etc., after DOMA decision in early 2011
We use the acronym "SSM" throughout this section to represent "same-sex marriage"
We use the acronym "LGBT" to refer to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. The acronym "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
See also the previous essay describing events during the second half of 2011-AUG
The Obama administration announced on 2011-FEB-23 that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. They cited an earlier decision in a Massachusetts federal court that found multiple reasons why the federal DOMA legislation violates the U.S. Constitution and is thus invalid.
Some commentators predicted that this decision will generate a tipping point that will lead to a more rapid decline in discrimination against sexual minorities in the U.S.
This prediction may be coming true. We have noticed an increase in events -- some important, some minor, some merely symbolic -- that indicate a gradual evaporation of animosity and homophobia against sexual minorities.
Developments toward marital equality and a lessening of discrimination against sexual minorities:
- 2011-SEP-02: NC: Newspaper comes out against defense of marriage act: Commenting on a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, the following excerpt was published in the News & Observer of Raleigh:
"Unveiling their plans the other day, leaders of the Republican-dominated Legislature said North Carolinians deserve a chance to vote on such a vital topic — would it have been a good thing if we'd voted on preserving racial segregation in 1960? — and that the rising tide of accommodation to gay marriage in other states (where, somehow, the sky has not fallen) means we must erect a constitutional barrier here. ...
Relatively new this year is the argument by Democratic leaders that an amendment that forbids gay marriage and even civil unions — which the Senate's version does — would discourage big corporations, which increasingly have accommodated themselves to domestic-partner benefits and the like, from locating in the state. Not to mention companies started or headed by gay businesspeople, who surely would feel a singular chill. ...
Because a three-fifths margin is needed in both the House and Senate, a handful of Democratic votes will be needed in the House, although not in the Senate, to advance the Republican-sponsored amendment. The week of Sept. 12 would be a fine time for House Democrats to show some of that same solidarity their GOP colleagues are known for. They should vote no, and they should be joined by some of the more libertarian-minded Republicans, who surely must have doubts about imposing the state constitution between two consenting unrelated adults who wish to commit to that most conservative of social institutions, marriage." 5
- 2011-SEP-03: USA: Chaz Bono receives support for his appearance on Dancing With The Stars: Bono was selected as a contestant -- the first transgender person/transsexual on the show. There were a flurry of "ugly bigoted comments" on the show's message boards. 1
"You know, it just kind of shows why for me it's important to be on the show, because so little still is known about what it means to be transgender[ed]. And there's so many just completely inaccurate stereotypes and thoughts that people have." 2
His representative, Howard Bragman, said:
“He’s really using [the controversy] to motivate himself. He’s working incredibly hard, dancing hours at a time, and he’s committed to being a great dancer and having a great time on the show.”
The show's executive producer Conrad Green said:
"The thing that is also worth remembering one of the great features of our show is we got quite a broad-minded audience who are often willing to give people a chance. They might have preconceptions about some of our celebrities before they meet them on the show, but on our show you get to see people in a way you've never seen them before."
Earlier in the week, Chaz's mother, Cher, tweeted:
As earlier pointed out by 63 Republican representatives of Congress, this appears to violate Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which prohibits all federal government recognition of same-sex marriages. More details.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Catherine Lawson, "Dancing With the Stars' Attracts Controversy for Casting Chaz Bono," AOL TV, 2011-AUG-31, at: http://www.aoltv.com/
- Tim Kenneally, "Chaz Bono says America 'really needs' him on 'Dancing'," Reuters, 2011-SEP-04, at: http://tv.yahoo.com/
- Sandy Cohen, "Cher takes to Twitter to defend Chaz Bono on DWTS," 2011-SEP-01, at:
- Nathan Black, "Christian Consultant Fired by Bank of America Over Gay Marriage Book," 2011-SEP-04, at: http://www.christianpost.com/
- "North Carolina editorial roundup," Associated Press, 2011-SEP-06, at: http://www.reflector.com/
- "Scottish man is first to be charged with transgender prejudice," Pink News (UK), 2011-SEP-06, at: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/
- Jessica Geen, "Archie Comics’ first gay character Kevin Keller to wed," Pink News (UK). 2011-SEP-16, at:
- Marc Malkin, "Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie & Chaz Bono Get Spun by Fox News Doctor," Eonline, 2011-SEP-21, at: http://ca.eonline.com/
- Kevin Douglas Grant, "After Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Former Lt. Dan Choi Doubles Down On His Fight For Gay Equality," Huffington Post, 2011-SEP-20, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
- Sarah Pulliam Bailey, "Military Chaplains allowed to perform gay weddings," Christianity Today, 2011-SEP-30, at: http://blog.christianitytoday.com/
- Clifford Stanley, "Military Chaplains," Under Secretary of Defense, 2011-SEP-30, at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/
- Jeh Johnson, "Uses of DoD facilities," General Counsel of the Department of Defense, 2011-SEP-21, at: http://www2.advocate.com/
Copyright © 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2011-OCT-29
Author: B.A. Robinson