Every once in a while I like to take time off from talking all about money and discuss something serious,funny,or just plain interesting! Together we have discussed everything from racism , bullying in schools, and the American Dream! Today I wanted to talk about a subject that is on every one's minds today... same sex marriage. Barbara de Angelis once said love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible - it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could. Love is universal but the right to publicly show the world how much you love someone is not. I know that everyone has their own opinions and I look forward to hearing them all but before we move forward in this conversation I think its important that we take a moment to look back.
History of Gay Rights
- 385 BC – Plato publishes Symposium in which Phaedrus, Eryixmachus, Aristophanes and other Greek intellectuals argue that love between males is the highest form, while sex with women is lustful and utilitarian. Socrates, however, differs. He demonstrates extreme self-control when seduced by the beautiful Alcibiades.
- 350 BC – Plato publishes Laws in which the Athenian stranger and his companions criticize homosexuality as being lustful and wrong for society because it does not further the species and may lead to irresponsible citizenry.
- 1924 – The first homosexual rights organization in America is founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago— the Society for Human Rights. The group exists for a few months before disbanding under police pressure. Panama, Paraguay and Peru legalize homosexuality.
- The Mattachine Society, the first national gay rights organization, is formed by Harry Hay, considered by many to be the founder of the gay rights movement.
- 1969 The Stonewall riots transform the gay rights movement from one limited to a small number of activists into a widespread protest for equal rights and acceptance. Patrons of a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn, fight back during a police raid on June 27, sparking three days of riots.When the NYPD raided a gay bar in Greenwich Village and started arresting employees and drag performers, they got more than they bargained for--a crowd of some 2,000 lesbian, gay, and transgender supporters of the bar took on the police, forcing them into the club. Three days of riots ensued.
- January, 1974
- Kathy Kozachenko becomes the first openly gay American elected to public office when she wins a seat on the Ann Arbor, Michigan City Council.
Harvey Milk wins a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and is responsible for introducing a gay rights ordinance protecting gays and lesbians from being fired from their jobs. Milk also leads a successful campaign against Proposition 6, an initiative forbidding homosexual teachers.
A year later, on November 27, 1978, former city supervisor Dan White assassinates Milk. White's actions are motivated by jealousy and depression, rather than homophobia.
- 1981: The AIDS crisis Gay advocacy groups form to deal with the crisis gripping the community amid a slow government response to AIDS and the linking of the disease with gay men. Over the years, the AIDS Quilt will form, and some well-known figures will succumb to AIDS, including actor Rock Hudson, or be diagnosed with it, like basketball star Magic Johnson.
- May 30, 1987: Congressman comes out Rep. Barney Frank becomes the first openly gay member of Congress. Twenty-five years later, in July 2012, he married his longtime partner, Jim Ready.
- 1993 The “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy is instituted for the U.S. military, permitting gays to serve in the military but banning homosexual activity. President Clinton's original intention to revoke the prohibition against gays in the military was met with stiff opposition; this compromise, which has led to the discharge of thousands of men and women in the armed forces, was the result.
- Oct. 12, 1998: Matthew Shepard's beating death Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson rob and beat Shepard, a 21-year-old college student, and tie him to a split-rail fence outside of Laramie, Wyo. He dies on Oct. 12, less than a week after the attack. The murder, for which the pair are each serving two consecutive life sentences, inspired "The Laramie Project," a play and later film about Laramie in the year after the murder, and federal hate crimes legislation approved in 2009 that bears Shepard's name.
- 2000 Vermont becomes the first state in the country to legally recognize civil unions between gay or lesbian couples. The law states that these “couples would be entitled to the same benefits, privileges, and responsibilities as spouses.” It stops short of referring to same-sex unions as marriage, which the state defines as heterosexual.
- Several states had established that same-sex couples could achieve some basic partnership rights through the separate-but-equal standards of domestic partnership and civil unions, but until 2004 the prospect of any state actually honoring the concept of marriage equality with respect to same-sex couples seemed remote and unrealistic.
In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare. Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced. ~Robert Sexton
- Maine, Maryland, and Washington became the first states to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote. Maine was the very first state to do so, followed by Maryland.
- October 28, 2009
- The Matthew Shepard Act is passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on October 28th. The measure expands the 1969 U.S. Federal Hate Crime Law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
- December 18, 2010
- The U.S. Senate votes 65-31 to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. Military.
- Nov. 6,2012 Tammy Baldwin, a seven-term Democratic congresswoman from Wisconsin, prevails over former governor Tommy Thompson in the race for U.S. Senate and becomes the first openly gay politician elected to the Senate. Also on Election Day, gay marriage is approved in a popular vote for the first time. Maine and Maryland vote in favor of allowing same-sex marriage. In addition, voters in Minnesota reject a measure to ban same-sex marriage.
- 2013 Jason Collins of the NBA's Washington Wizards announces in an essay in Sports Illustrated that he is gay. "I'm a 34-year-old N.B.A. center. I'm black and I'm gay," he writes. "I've reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful." Collins is the first active athlete in the NBA, NFL, NHL, or MLB to make the announcement.
Jason is not the only athlete to come out of the closet.In the past few months many people from the sports world have made the decision to not to hide who they are.Does being gay change your opinion of a person who is in the public eye? If so do you believe it changes people perceptions for the better or for worse?