Top LGBT Headlines Of 2011
Read More: Adoption, AIDS, bullying, Cuccinelli, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Equality Virginia, Eric Cantor, Fan Free Clinic, Federal Reserve, HIV, Human Rights Campaign, Ken Cuccinelli, Marriage Equality, New York, Rainbow Flag
10. Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Approve Same-Sex Unions
Seven Episcopal congregations in Virginia can now perform same-sex unions including St. Thomas in Richmond.
9. University of Richmond Adds Gender Identity & Expression To Non-Discrimination Policy
This move last April by the campus Board of Trustees made the University of Richmond only the third campus in the state to have such an inclusive policy.
8. Cuccinelli & Cantor Continue Making Headlines
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli caused his first big stir last year when he sent a letter to Virginia’s colleges and universities recommending they remove sexual orientation from their non-discrimination policies. This year, he’s announced a run for governor, criticized the Obama administration for abandoning its defense of DOMA, and has been profiled nationally as a rising star of the conservative movement.
Eric Cantor, also vocal against supporting LGBT rights, grabbed attention this year as House Majority Leader. In the fall, he was the butt of two protests (see one and two) during public speaking engagements. He was also linked closely with the anti-gay Family Foundation in literature published this year.
7. RVA Remembers 30 Years of the AIDS Epidemic
Fan Free Clinic has taken the lead in Richmond for AIDS and HIV outreach. In honor of World AIDS Day on December 1, the organization coordinated a display of 400 red umbrellas to show solidarity for the lives lost to the global epidemic. The human art project made the pages of the Washington Post.
6. Bullying Gets Attention
We saw Glee and Lady Gaga preach that we were “Born This Way” and heartbreaking headlines about teens like Jamie Rodemeyer committing suicide as the local community reacted. Miss Virginia has a spat and her roommate cries foul. This teen Jonah told his emotional story and Richmond candidates even spoke about it at a pre-election forum in October.
5. Virginia’s Adoption Struggle
When a proposed revision is on the table that could include sexual orientation as a protected class in the adoption and fostering process, equality advocates take notice. The Human Rights Campaign even made the trip to Richmond to get involved. Equality Virginia lobbied to have an extended public comment period. Granted. But ultimately, the board voted 5-1 to exclude sexual orientation along with political beliefs, religion, age, gender, disability, and family status from their revisions.
4. New York Gets Marriage Equality
In June, all New Yorkers received the right to marry. To date, New York is the largest state to recognize same-sex marriage – a big win for the rest of the country. In Richmond, local advocates gave their take on what this meant for the Commonwealth (we still have that pesky Marshall-Newman Act to amend).
3. That Kiss
A new twist on a classic iconic image makes international headlines on the anniversary of Obama’s signing of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Brian Clark of the Virginia Pilot caught that image on camera.
2. Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
The full repeal took effect in September 20 allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve.
1. The Fed Flies A Rainbow Flag
A bold and supportive move by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond makes national headlines and gets conservative politicians like Bob Marshall up in arms. The Fed stood by their show of support through the entirety of June’s National Gay Pride Month. In October, we profiled PRISM, the bank’s LGBT employee resource network that got the support of Fed president Jeffrey Lacker in raising the flag. Also in October, the bank released a memo that the flag will not fly in 2012, but they will still show support for Pride Month internally.
Kevin Clay is the editor and publisher of GAYRVA.COM. He is a Richmond native, loves the city and knows it's on the edge of greatness. Don't hold back RVA. You can follow Kevin on GAYRVA's Twitter or e-mail him at email@example.com.
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