Closing The Book On 2001

It is the beginning of a new year, and if you are like me, as you are pulling together your financial records, you also review what happened during the year. Have you touted up the year to see how rights and protections for lesbians has ended? Let’s take a look together, shall we?

Much occurred in 2001 – not all of it would be considered that which dreams are made of, but at least some that can be used as fodder for learning and growth. So before we move 2001 into the history books, let’s take a last glance.

March 3: State Representative, Nancy Hetherington, (D-Rhode Island) came out in an op-ed piece in The Providence Journal.

March 12: The National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of Sharon Smith (partner Diane Whipple was murdered by the Knoller dogs in San Francisco on January 26).

March 16: Texas appeals court upholds the State’s same-sex sodomy law.

March 24: Arkansas judge strikes down the State’s sodomy law.

April 1: A lesbian couple (and three gay couples) legally wed in Amsterdam.

April 11: The Massachusetts-based Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders files to overturn the State’s ban on same-sex marriage.

April 30: San Francisco board of supervisors approves a plan to allow city funds to pay for sex changes for city employees.

May 8: Jane Hull, Arizona governor signs a bill to repeal the State’s sodomy law (that included cohabitation by unmarried couples).

May 12: Texas governor Rick Perry signs the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act into law.

May 15: Maryland governor Parris Glendening signs into law banning discrimination against gays.

May 18: A Minnesota judge strikes down the State’s sodomy law.

June 13: Hawaii enacts an LGBT-inclusive hate crime law.

June 21: Romania decriminalizes same-gender sex.

July 27: California Judge A. James Robertson II rules that Sharon Smith’s wrongful death suit can go forward, even though the law does not recognize her relationship [with Whipple].

August 30: U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King upholds Florida’s ban on same-sex adoption.

September 11: Unmentioned in main-stream media stories, hundreds of lesbians and gay men are among the victims and heroes involved in the New York City/Washington terrorist attacks.

September 13: Resulting in the loss of many supporters, Rev. Jerry Falwell announces on the TV program The 700 Club, “I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle … all of them who have tried to secularize America – I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.'”

October 11: New York governor George Pataki issues an executive order granting survivor benefits to LGBT family members.

November 5: A Colorado court rules that LGBT parents’ sexual orientation cannot be used to deny visitation with their children.

November 27PFLAG launches a holiday protest against the Salvation Army’s anti-LGBT policies. Armed with phony bills into holiday kettles that state, “I would have donated $5, but the Salvation Army’s decision to discriminate against gay and lesbian employees prevents my donation now and in the future.

December 5: Anti-LGBT activist-Rev. Pat Robertson resigns as president and member of the board of directors of the Christian Coalition.

Until next time… 

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