This year I feel we need to look back on the history of the LGBTQIA+ movement and see how far we have come.

  • 2009: 
    • Sweden legalized same-sex marriage
    • Hungary, Colombia, and Austria passed civil unions. 
    • Argentina, Philippines, and Uruguay ended their ban on gay people serving in the military.
    • Iceland elected the first openly gay head of government in the world, Johanna Siguroardottir. 
    • President Obama issued a directive on same-sex domestic partner benefits for federal employees.
    • President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. 

    • Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. 

    • Vermont Legislature overrode Governor Jim Douglas’ veto and approved same-sex marriage.
    • Maine legalized same-sex marriage.
    • New Hampshire legalized same-sex marriage.
    • District of Columbia legalized same-sex marriage. 
    • Barba “Babs” Siperstein was nominated and confirmed as an at-large member of the Democratic National Committee, becoming its first openly transgender member.
  • 2010: 
    • Iceland, Portugal, and Argentina legalized same-sex marriage.
    • The Mexican Supreme Court ruled that marriages contracted in Mexico City are valid throughout the country. 
    • Ireland passed civil unions.
    • Denmark passed adoption rights for same-sex couples. 
    • Serbia ended its ban on gay people serving in the military.
    • Australia became the first country to end its ban on transgender people serving in the military. 
    • The U.S. District Court in Massachusetts became the first to rule that a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
    • President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act (ACA) providing protections in health care for LGBTQIA+

    • Arkansas and Florida ended their bans on same-sex couples adopting. 
    • Amanda Simpson became the first openly transgender presidential appointee in America when she was appointed as a senior technical adviser in the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security.
  • 2011: 
    • Liechtenstein passed civil unions. 
    • A resolution submitted by South Africa requesting a study on discrimination and sexual orientation. It passed 23 to 19 with 3 abstentions, in the UN Human Rights Councils. It was the first time that any UN body approved a resolution affirming the rights of LGBTQIA+ people. 
    • “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed, ending a ban on gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military. 

    • The U.S. Attorney General said the Obama Administration would no longer defend the DOMA. 
    • New York legalized same-sex marriage
    • Illinois, Rhode Island passed civil unions.
  • 2012:
    • Denmark legalized same-sex marriage.
    • President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to publicly support same-sex marriage.

    • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity issued a regulation to prohibit LGBTQIA+ discrimination in federally assisted housing programs. 
    • The Democratic Party of the United States became the first major U.S. political party in history to support same-sex marriage on a national platform at the Democratic National Convention.
    • Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay politician and first Wisconsin woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate. 
    • A federal appeals court upheld the ruling that declared California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional. 

    • Washington legalized same-sex marriage but opponents delayed its implementation until a November referendum. 
    • New Jersey passed a same-sex marriage bill, later vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. 
    • Maryland legalized same-sex marriage, implementation on hold until a referendum. 
    • A federal appeals court in New England upheld lower court rulings against DOMA.
    • Voters approved constitutional amendments permitting same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland, and Washington.

    • Kyrsten Sinema became the first openly bisexual person elected to the U.S. House.
    • San Francisco voted to become the first U.S. city to provide and cover the cost of gender-affirming surgeries for uninsured transgender residents. 
    • California became the first U.S. state to sign a ban on therapy that claims to convert gay people into heterosexuals. 













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