Homo headlines are popping. On the global scene, marriage equality now reigns in 14 countries. This spring New Zealand amended its Marriage Act, Brazil gave the green light to same-sex marriage, and France passed marriage equality, including equal adoption rights. The first to marry under France’s new law, Vincent and Bruno, exchanged vows and rings last week. Let’s hear it for liberté, égalité, fraternité! (Et sororité, for un peu more égalité.)
Back on this side of la mer, Rhode Island became the 10th marriage equality state. Delaware’s new law goes into effect on July 1. Minnesota’s and Rhode Island’s kick in on Aug. 1. Illinois and Nevada are moving toward marriage equality and lawsuits against marriage discrimination in New Mexico are pending. New measures were proposed in the Michigan state senate last week. And Oregon’s campaign for the freedom to marry will have a measure on the ballot in 2014. A new Pew Research Center poll shows 72 percent of Americans think legal recognition of same-sex marriage is “inevitable.” Ya think?
As I write this, 53 U.S. senators have come out for marriage equality, and more will no-doubt evolve by the time your read these words. Meanwhile, speculation continues to whiz across the blogosphere about how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on California’s anti-gay Prop 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. If the carved words on the front arch of their building are any indication, seems to me they’d side with “Equal Justice Under the Law.” We won’t know for sure till the Supremes issue their ruling by the end of June. (You can’t hurry love.)
In other news, the Boy Scouts of America lifted the ban against out gay youth in scouting. They didn’t drop their anti-gay bias all together, but the BSA’s continued rejection of gays and lesbians over 18 is raising a lot of big-time hackles. I’m staying tuned for more progress from this bastion of homophobia.
From our nation’s capital: the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was introduced in the House and Senate. The bill would end discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Hooray for Oregon’s junior senator Jeff Merkeley, championing passage of this bill.
And now, to sports. Jason Collins dominated the refreshingly positive news coverage for making his fast break through pro basketball’s closet door. Collins follows Brittney Griner’s courageous, if less ballyhooed, example. As the first out-and-proud athlete to be drafted into the WNBA, she promptly signed a sweet endorsement deal with Nike, and made an It Gets Better video. Who knows how many LGBT athletes Jason and Brittney will inspire to come out?
Mainstream sports journalists were a-dither over the NFL draft not picking kicker Alan Gendreau, a move that would have made him the first totally out pro football player. It’s not clear whether he was passed over out of homophobia, or because kickers were not in demand. He’s still in training, so maybe next year. That leaves sportscasters predicting who will be the first gay athlete in the NFL to go public. You might already know. It’s happening that fast.
Hurry! Soak up the news blitz quick before all us lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people become totally legal, visible, and un-newsworthy.