Across the country, around the world, and on our screens, LGBT people have made great strides. Looking back at the news that dominated 2013, our staff can see that we have a lot to be thankful for. Here are the things that left impressions on us. Please add yours in the Comments.
Marriage Equality in Illinois and the State-by-State Fight
My heart swelled as Gov. Pat Quinn signed marriage equality into law last week in my native state of Illinois. It swelled even more this week, when I learned that an old Chicago pal, Vernita Gray, and her partner, Patricia Ewert, would be allowed to marry immediately, even though the law doesn’t go into effect until June. The reason is a sad one — Vernita has terminal cancer, which led to an emergency court ruling letting her and Patricia get their marriage license — but I am grateful that they will be able to marry. And the Illinois law caps a banner year for marriage equality: 2013 has seen the freedom to marry extend to same-sex couples in Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Hawaii, the last state being the one that put the issue into the public consciousness with a court battle in the 1990s. With these states’ actions, plus the return of marriage equality to my adopted state of California thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, 37.7 percent of the U.S. population lives in a jurisdiction with marriage equality enshrined in law (16 states and the District of Columbia), up from 15.8 percent at the end of last year, more than a twofold increase, according to Freedom to Marry. That’s something for which I’m very thankful, and I’ll be even more so when we get to 100 percent! —Trudy Ring