During National LGBTQ+ month, even if Trump refuses to acknowledge it exists, it is good to reflect on the past. Here are some key dates to think about as we celebrate where the LGBTQ+ community is today.
Above is a timeline of where we were previously and where we are now – with legalized marriage for same-sex partners. It wasn’t that long ago that the Defense of Marriage Act was passed by Bill Clinton, making is so there was no federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
It took twelve years and countless deaths to pass the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law from when the Hate Crimes Prevention Act was first introduced in 1997. A year after the Hate Crimes Prevention Act was introduced by congress, Matthew Shephard was brutally beaten to death in Wyoming for being gay.
I wish I could say that this type of behavior will never happen again, but I cannot. Our history is ever changing. We continue to make progress and sometimes we falter, but as long as we always strive to make the lives of our LGBTQ+ neighbors better, we make the world a better place.
By Susan Wertheim, 6/10/2018