by riese & rachel
Well, I think just about everyone in the US can agree that 2011 more or less sucked hard States, which I blame on a lot of things including the Republicans in Congress. But anyhow! There's one group for whom 2011 was not just an endless adventure in suckdom: THE GAYS!
I mean, don't get me wrong, we suffered through some extreme suckage this year. But right now let's celebrate all the ways in which we won!
Top Ten Things The Gays Won in 2011
Judge Walker was ruled to be fit to make a decision on Prop 8 despite being gay (revolutionary, I know!) and probably will be again; while weddings still aren't legal in California, the fact that Prop 8 is likely headed to the Supreme Court could mean that a precedent could soon be set that it's unconstitutional to ban same-sex marriage anywhere in the US. Combined with the myriad lawsuits against DOMA, and the fact that the Department of Justice has decided to stop defending DOMA against those lawsuits (see below!), 2011 has been full of good developments for marriage equality, and 2012 is looking even better.
Thanks to census updates, we now have an idea of how many of us there really are: it is a lot, and we are everywhere. The world is changing accordingly; the majority of Republican voters no longer want gay marriage to be an issue. Even Focus on the Family admits they've lost the fight on gay marriage. 2011, thy name is progress.
2011 was the year in which we saw a future where your doctor might stop assuming you have a boyfriend, and the medical community sort of figured out that your sexual orientation is relevant to your health. The Department of Health and Human Services realized they had to get their act together in regards to the queer community, and the standards of care that inform medical treatment for trans people got a major overhaul.
In December, President Obama announced that the US will begin taking into account the experiences and treatment of gays and lesbians in foreign countries when making decisions regarding aid for those nations. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech accompanying the announcement, in which she noted (among other things) that "gay rights are human rights."
The United Nations, probably totally inspired by Hillary Clinton, released its first formal report on international LGBT human rights. It was 25 entire pages long and is the first-ever UN commissioned study documenting discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
In an attempt to more efficiently deport people, the Obama Administration orders the Deportation People to not stress about the gay couples right now.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB-48, the controversial bill which will require California's public school textbooks to include the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Efforts to repeal the bill failed, which means we're that much closer to a world where American children know more about LGBT history than just what they learned from watching Milk.
When the Obama Administration declared, kind of out of nowhere, they would no longer defend the Defense Of Marriage Act in court, I actually thought it was April Fools Day.
After all kinds of deliberation, the New York State Senate approved same-sex marriage with a vote of 33-29. We were so excited and happy that we partied in the streets, took pictures, cried a lot and listened to that Jay-Z song on repeat for days. We did not, however, forget about pre-nups.
This year we charged John McCain's giant asshole blocking our path to freedom and successfully overturned "Don't Ask Don't Tell," which required gay soliders to keep their gayness a secret. The end of DADT meant that this adorable lesbian couple were able to have the first homecoming kiss in front of literally the entire world.