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Gay Rights History for 1997


1997 was a good year in the social, political and legal struggle for
equal rights. It seems that every day another company added domestic
partner benefits, another cultural milestone was passed, or another
court ruled in our favor. Considering that gays and lesbians are opposed
by America's most powerful special interest group, the radical right, it
is heartening that we are making such significant progress. Celebrate a
great year and look forward to an even better 1998! Justice is
prevailing.


January

Lacey, WA enacts anti-discrimination ordinances protecting gays
Tumwater, WA enacts anti-discrimination ordinances protecting gays
Over 200 polities now have laws banning anti-gay discrimination covering
1/3 of the US Population
Cobb County GA rescinds anti-gay resolution
Openly gay congressman Kolbe (R-AZ) chairs appropriations subcommittee
Fremont, CA schools ban anti-gay harassment
MA jury awards man $1.2 million for anti-gay discrimination
Travis County Texas swears in nations first out lesbian sheriff


February

Christian Coalition denounces bombing of lesbian bar
US AIDS deaths drop 27% in past 6 months
CA court rules student newspaper may run ad for gay youth group
MCC admitted to Ecumenical Council
Washington marriage ban vetoed
LAPD forced to pay $$ for anti-gay harassment
Baseball great Al Kaline apologizes for anti-gay slur


March

Alaska court grants DP benefits for University of Alaska
First US Senator grants DP benefits for staffers
Bank of America announces DP benefits
St. Louis enacts DP registry
NY court expands gay parents' adoption rights
West Hollywood, CA elects gay majority to city council
Number of gay-straight clubs at high schools up over 10 times from 5
years ago
Gay/Lesbian liason to President gets status boost to "Special Assistant"


April

"Ellen" becomes first gay prime time lead, wins time slot
Arizona enacts hate crimes bill protecting gays
RI, WA, CA, LA anti-marriage bills all fail
Catholic Church calls homophobia a sin, says celibate gays are "holy"
Michigan man awarded 10 million in gay bashing suit
Gay candidates win municipal elections in San Mateo and Redwood City CA,
as well as Oak Park and Erie Illinois.
SF 49ers become first pro sports team with DP benefits
Several studies confirm lesbians make good mothers
IL court strengthens lesbian adoption/custody in state
Court strengthens Chicago's anti-discrimination law
Court upholds New Jersey gay civil rights law


May

Anti-marriage bills die in conservative Texas and Nebraska
Santa Barbara, CA gains DP registry
Maine enacts statewide anti-discrimination law protecting gays (pending
referendum scheduled for February 1998)
DNC announces DP benefits
University of Washington adds DP benefits
St. Petersburg Times adds DP benefits
City of Chicago adds DP benefits
Wisconsin court upholds Madison anti-discrimination ordinance
Chevron Oil adds DP benefits
Northern CA's major utility company adds DP benefits
Alabama ban on gay school clubs struck down


June

Pride month ends, over 50 US celebrations with several million
participants make it largest ever
Clinton issues pride proclaimation, first ever from US President
Ohio court rules sexual orientation should not affect adoptions
Florida court upholds lesbian "pre-nuptial" agreement
New Hampshire enacts state-wide anti-discrimination bill protecting gays
Colorado anti-marriage bill vetoed for 2nd time
Los Angeles unified school district adds DP plan
City of New Orleans adds DP benefits
Blue-Cross, HealthNet and PacificCare add DP coverage to insurance plans
Historic San Francisco Domestic Partner benefits law goes into effect


July

Virginia court OKs lesbian adoption
Evanston IL expands anti-discrimination ordinance
Episcopalians apologizes for mistreating gays
Wells-Fargo adds DP benefits
Union Bank adds DP benefits
Ellen receives 5 Emmy nominations
Clinton has high-level meeting with gay activists
Delaware enacts hate crimes law including sexual orientation
Gay and lesbian weddings OKed at Harvard chapel
Gay and lesbian youth conference in SF largest ever
Federal court strikes down ban on gays in US military (it is under
appeal)
Montana court strikes down state's sodomy law
Connecticut bans anti-gay discrimination in school system
Hawaii statewide DP registry/benefits take effect


August

LAPD forced to pay for anti-gay harassment
For Better of for Worse with gay subplot runs in 1000+ papers
Chicago to spend 2 million on gay neighborhood
Focus on Family co-founder apologizes to gays
More gay characters on TV than ever, GLAAD reports
American Psychological Association condemns anti-gay "therapy"
Florida court OKs lesbian adoption


September

Nebraska court rules in favor of lesbian in custody case
MediaOne adds DP benefits
Recent report shows 1-3 companies add DP policies every week
MA court makes gay parents' adoptions easier
Michigan State adds DP benefits
Judge in Chicago upholds DP benefits law
Upjohn Corporation adds DP benefits
Pharmacia Corporations adds DP benefits
Clinton first sitting President to attend major gay-rights banquet
Knight-Ridder adds DP benefits
Oak Park IL enacts domestic partnership registry
Birmingham ABC station gives in and run Ellen's coming out episode.
"In The Life" has 5th Anniversary


October

EDS (Ross Perot's company) Offers DP Benefits
New Jersey rules in favor of allowing gay couple to adopt
Philadelphia Public Schools add DP benefits
First openly gay ambassador nominated by President
Lexinton Herald-Leader offers DP Benefits
Gay press fastest growing ad market for 3rd consecutive year
Mass. court rules for gay male couple in adoption case
"In and Out" is mainstream smash hit


November

U. of California system (USA's largest state university system) approves
domestic partnership plan.
Emory University opens up its chapel to gay weddings (Harvard did this
earlier in the year)
GLAAD forces re-write of controversial scene in "The Jackal"
Anti-gay Disney Boycott abject failure, profits up record levels during
boycott.
North Carolina court rules in favor of gay father in custody case for
2nd time
Georgia Supreme Court affirms Atlanta domestic partnership plan
Founder of largest gay Christian denomination honored at White House.
Gays and lesbians big part of White House hate crimes summit.
A US President addresses gay rights group dinner, first time ever.
Gay candidates win 83% (12 of 15) elections on Election Day 1997.
Reform Judaism (US largest branch) passes resolution in support of
same-sex religious and civil marriage.


December

US Military forced to allow gay clubs in civilian schools on overseas
military bases
NJ first state to allow joint adoption by gay couples
Duke University gives benefits to same-sex partners of grad students
Salt Lake City bans discrimination against gay city employees
Ypsilanti, MI passes gay civil rights law
Newton, MA passes domestic partnership law
Pacific Exchange becomes first US Stock exchange to offer DP benefits
Gay candidates win runoff elections in Houston and Atlanta.
Madison, WI public school district grants DP benefits.
Washington DC elects gay Republican council member
Athens, OH passes gay civil rights law



Please feel free to pass this list around as far and wide as you wish.
Re-printing and re-distribution is encouraged. Just mention that the
list was compiled by Mike Silverman  and can be
found online at http://www.turnleft.com/out/1997.html

This list was compiled from various sources, including wire service
reports, the PlanetOut news service, and various newspapers. Special
thanks to Fenceberry for their invaluable service to the community




Mike Silverman  --  cubsfan@turnleft.com
Turn Left -- the liberal home page: http://www.turnleft.com
TurnOUT! -- gay rights on the web:  http://www.turnleft.com/out

"A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular" - Adlai Stevenson




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