In this episode, we celebrate Pride Month with a discussion about the fight for equality at the ballot, in legislatures, and in the courts. From Stonewall to Obergefell and beyond, nonprofits have stood center stage as key advocates.
Our hosts for this episode:
- 1961: Illinois becomes the first state to decriminalize homosexuality
- 1969: Raid of Stonewall Inn (NYC)
- 1973: Lambda Legal becomes the first legal organization created specifically to fight for gay rights, and Maryland becomes the first state to legislatively ban same-sex marriage
- 1978: Inspired by Harvey Milk, Gilbert Baker designs the first rainbow flag as a symbol of pride
- 1996: Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed into law by President Clinton, banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage
- 1998: Murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming makes national news. His killers are later sentenced to life in prison
- 2009: President Obama signs into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
- 2011: Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
- 2013: U.S. Supreme Court in the United States v. Windsor strikes down part of DOMA, paving the way for legally married, same-sex couples to receive federal benefits
- 2015: U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges holds that 14th Amendment requires states to recognize same-sex marriages
- 2021: President Biden issues executive order repealing former administration’s ban on transgender Americans joining the military
Recent Developments / Coming Soon…
- During the 87th Legislative session, nonprofit advocates in TEXAS successfully defeated SB 29, which would have banned transgender student-athletes from competing on sports teams based on their gender identity. Local nonprofits like the Texas Freedom Network and Equality Texas led the charge in advocating against the bill alongside several other incredible nonprofits. While it’s possible the bill may be revived during a later legislative session, there is much to celebrate for now.
- ARKANSAS recently passed a new law (one of the first of its kind in the nation) that bans gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth. The ACLU recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of four families and two doctors, who argue that the law is unconstitutional and that it should be struck down so that all children have access to medically necessary care.
- Any day now, the United States SUPREME COURT is expected to release a decision in the case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which will decide the constitutionality of a Philadelphia ordinance that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation. A legal challenge against the ordinance was brought by a Catholic foster agency that lost its contract with the city as a result of the nondiscrimination policy. The agency says that the policy violates its First Amendment rights to freedom of religion and speech.