Monday, November 29, 2010

This Week's Sneak Peek

Okay. Now you know what the cartoon is about.

I was looking over the headlines cluttering up Time magazine's "What Really Happened" cover story last night and noticed that not one of them was an LGBT news event.

I suppose there could be some LGBT news item hidden behind the area left blank for the mailing label (the death of Michael Jackson and the shootings at Fort Hood are partly hidden there), or behind the cover title or the flag. But I'm not sure what story they could choose. The two major LGBT stories between 2000 and 2010, marriage equality and gays in the military, arrived at the forefront in the 1990's, and have yet to develop in a decisive direction.

A report on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is scheduled to be released tomorrow, after nearly a decade of discharges of openly or outed lesbian and gay service members during wartime. A few state supreme courts ruled that denying marital rights to same-sex couples was unconstitutional, but many states passed restriction of marriage amendments to their constitutions. Meanwhile, George W. Bush pushed a Different-Sex Marriage Only amendment to the U.S. Constitution during his reelection campaign in 2004, never to take the issue up again once the election was over.

If tomorrow's Pentagon study paves the way to allowing lesbian and gay service members to serve their country openly and honestly, the federal government will have to address the issue of same-sex couples again. Spouses of service members are entitled to certain benefits; will those benefits be extended also to legally wedded spouses of gay and lesbian service personnel? What of service members in the "domestic partnerships" and "civil unions" available in states which do not recognize "marriages" between same-sex couples?

I hope our LGBT community leaders are ready for that battle when it comes. Their track record to date is not impressive.

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