Good riddance to the Year of the Cock

BTL Staff
By | 2006-01-05T09:00:00-04:00 January 5th, 2006|Uncategorized|

Let’s face it: 2005, the Year of the Cock, kind of sucked. It was a frustrating year politically and socially for LGBT people.
Across the country, we saw the anti-gay right trying, and sometimes succeeding, to further curtail our rights, whether in taking away domestic partner benefits or trying to block the right of gays and lesbian to adopt children. We saw gays largely shut out of the Millions More March. The Vatican went anti-gay ballistic. Several Christian denominations continued to splinter over gay unions and lesbian and gay clergy. Ford Motor Company nearly caved to the right-wing American Family Association. Bush nominated two conservatives to the Supreme Court. The Federal Marriage Amendment reared its ugly head again. Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed a marriage equality bill in California. More anti-gay marriage amendments passed or were scheduled to show up on the ballot in 2006. Hate crimes increased.
Then, of course there was Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Pakistan, the war in Iraq and the exposure of yet more corruption by the administration currently in office.
That’s not to say there weren’t any bright spots in 2005. Nationally, Connecticut became the first state to enact civil unions without a court mandate. Anti-gay forces failed to gather the required number of signatures to get an anti-marriage amendment on their ballot. In Maine, voters kept an anti-discrimination bill in place. More and more members of Congress called for the repeal of the military’s discriminatory “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. The U.S. House of Representatives passed inclusive hate crimes legislation.
In Michigan, a bill to legalize second parent adoption was introduced by Rep. Paul Condino in the House. Gov. Jennifer Granholm attended the Triangle Foundation Dinner and the groundbreaking for the new Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center. 2005 saw hundreds of people rally in support of gay and lesbian families at several events in Lansing. The anti-gay right may have scored a victory with the marriage amendment in 2004, but they also caused a very large number of equality-minded folks to wake up and get involved. And that level of commitment and involvement will be evident in the 2006 elections.
It’s important to look back as there are important lessons to be learned from the past. But it is even more important to look forward to the future. The movement for LGBT equality has, historically, been tremendously fast, even if it sometimes doesn’t feel that way. Things do get better, but only with work and commitment. Thankfully, Michigan has plenty of people willing to do both and with your help we’ll make 2006 a watershed year for LGBT equality.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.