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Read more.Army National Guard Maj. Shannon McLaughlin, her wife Casey, and other service members will file a suit in Boston today that challenges the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act,reports The Washington Post. The suit also includes “five other troops and two career Army and Navy veterans,” and their lawyer tells The Post that it is intended to address federal code that doesn’t let gay spouses access basic benefits like “military identification cards, access to bases, recreational programs, spousal support groups and burial rights at national cemeteries.” The lawyer for the troops, Aubrey Sarvis, put it simply to the newspaper: “What Shannon and Casey are seeking is the same treatment that their straight counterparts, who are legally married, receive every day without question and take for granted.”
Today is the 13th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, the 21-year-old gay college student from Laramie, Wyo., who was brutally beaten into a coma and left to die, propped up on this fence.
Years before the It Gets Better Campaign, the Trevor Project, or anything remotely close to legalized gay marriage, Shepard’s death galvanized the LGBT community—and others—to demand hate-crimes legislation.
(Photo taken from Newsweek’s original story on the beating, in 1998.)
The first day of a new military reality: It’s easy, especially when major civil rights policy comes down to a big, dramatic vote, to check the “accomplished” box and move along. In the case of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, this would have been considerably premature, as it wasn’t until midnight this morning that the ban was finally lifted. Congratulations to all the people who’ve had the weight of a big injustice pulled off their shoulders by this. The above video was recorded hours after the ban was lifted, and is a pretty emotional scene to watch unfold; a soldier, finally able to state his sexuality without discrimination from the military, calls his father to come out to his family. Be warned, it might make you a bit misty-eyed. source
June 6, 1977
Newsweek’s first cover on gay rights, featuring a fiery Anita Bryant, documented how the Florida Citrus Commission spokeswoman (and former Miss Oklahoma) was mobilizing what was described as a “somewhat bizarre but deadly serious battle over gay rights.”
Bryant, of course, would later take a banana cream pie in the face. (“Well at least it’s a fruit pie,” she exclaimed.)
And thirty-four years to the month later, New York would become the sixth and largest state to legalize gay marriage.