Year in Review, Top 10 News Stories of 2010

From the tragedy of teen suicides to the victory of marriage legislation, here is a look at 10 of the top GLBT news headlines for 2010, as reported on

Federal Court Declares California’s Proposition 8 Unconstitutional

In August, US District Judge Vaughn Walker overturned California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state. In his 136-page ruling, he held that the marriage ban violates the US Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. Walker wrote, “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.” Supporters of the ban immediately filed an appeal with the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

US District Judge Virginia Phillips set forth a decision in September that the military’s ban on openly gay troops was unconstitutional. She ruled that the ban violates the US Constitution’s First and Fifth Amendment rights of gays and lesbians. Log Cabin Republicans brought the case that led to the ruling. She issued a stay that effectively ended the ban. The stay ultimately was lifted pending an upcoming appeal.

Target Contribution Causes Controversy

Target made headlines following a controversial $150,000 contribution to MN Forward, a group that supported antigay Republican Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel ultimately apologized in an e-mail for offending some of the corporation’s employees over the contribution. Following Target’s refusal to honor a request from the Human Rights Campaign to make an in-kind contribution to proequality candidates, a number of people called for a boycott of Target stores.

Antigay Bullying, Teen Suicides, and It Gets Better

The issue of antigay bullying made headlines this year, following a rash of highly-publicized teen suicides. The resulting public outcry led to the creation of the It Gets Better Campaign. More than 5,000 people, including celebrities and even President Barack Obama, participated in the campaign by filming video clips on YouTube.

Lavender Outs Antigay Pastor

The Lutheran pastor who suggested a 2009 tornado strike on a Minneapolis church was God’s judgment because of its position on same-sex clergy was himself a member of a confidential support group for men with “homosexual desires.” A Lavender Magazine cover story in June by writer John Townsend alleged that Reverend Tom Brock, Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, regularly attended Faith in Action, a Catholic support group for people attracted to members of the same sex. After a brief leave, he returned to his job at Hope, telling the Associated Press he’s not gay, and never has had sex.

Florida Appeals Court Upholds Gay Adoption

Florida’s state ban on adoptions by gas and lesbians was struck down this year. Following the ruling, Florida Governor Charlie Crist said the state will stop enforcing the law. Frank Martin Gill, an openly gay foster parent who was denied an adoption application because he was gay, originally brought the case. Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman concluded that gays and lesbians were equal to heterosexual parents in their ability to provide healthy child rearing. The court also found that the state violated Gill’s equal-protection rights by denying him the right to adopt his foster child.

Three Iowa Justices Removed After Gay Marriage Ruling

Iowans voted in November to remove three of the state’s Supreme Court justices, following the court’s ruling last year that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. The vote marks the first time Iowa voters have removed a Supreme Court justice since the current system began in 1962. Gay marriage opponents spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the campaign.

Gay Marriage Law Takes Effect in Mexico City

Mexico City’s same-sex marriage law, passed by the City Assembly in December 2009, took effect in the country’s capital city in March. The legislation allows gays and lesbians to marry and adopt children. Mexico City becomes one of the first jurisdictions in Latin American fully to recognize same- sex marriage.

President Signs Argentina’s Gay-Marriage Law

Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez, signed landmark legislation in July making the country the first in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. She said at a signing ceremony, “Today, we are a society that is a little more egalitarian than last week.”

Illinois-Legislature-Approved Civil-Union Measure Heads to Governor

Same-sex civil union legislation passed the Illinois Legislature in December. Under the measure, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2011, same-sex couples would gain several state-level marriage benefits.

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