IS THE BATTLE FOR GAY RIGHTS OVER?http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/06/is-the-battle-for-gay-rights-over.html
In the nineteen-fifties, the State Department went through something like a purge, systematically seeking out and firing gay employees, who, given the times, had been living closeted lives. Linda Hirshman, writing about the episode in her new book Victory: the Triumphant Gay Revolution, quotes the former head of State Department security: The only thing I regret, was within minutes and sometimes maybe a week, they would commit suicide. One guy he barely left my office and boomright on the corner of Twenty-first and Virginia.
The gay-rights movement in the United States has made great progress since then, and recently the pace of change has been breathtakingly fast. Dont Ask Dont Tell has been repealed, multiple federal-court decisions have struck down anti-gay laws as unconstitutional, and President Obama has announced that he supports same-sex marriageall in the past eighteen months. This Sunday, we celebrate the one-year anniversary of same-sex marriage in New York. It might seem as if full equality for gay and lesbian Americans were now a foregone conclusion.
This is the theory at the heart of Victorynot that we have already achieved victory, but that it is at hand. Whats clear from the book is that that success did not happen overnight, but rather, like any political progress, was the result of a lot of hard work, individual effort, and much sacrifice over a lengthy period.
But one shouldnt get that the battle for equality is over. You can still be fired just for being gay in most states. There is no federal antidiscrimination protection. One of the candidates for President in this years election believes that there should be a U.S. constitutional amendment against marriage equality.
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African Americans. 18 months of great progress certainly doesn't end our battle either.
That does make for a nice headline, but I think it's a very hard sell to say that the battle for gay rights is "over" when over half the states outlaw gay marriage not only by law but by a constitutional mandate. There's quite a ways to go.
Here's a cool breakdown of where gay marriage stands in the US today. It's an infographic with information on the rate of gay marriage, the rate of gay divorce, and a map showing which states outlaw gay marriage and how they outlaw it. Progress has been made, but the "battle" is far from over.