Saturday, July 31, 2010

"The battle for gay rights has been won" ... somewhat

"The battle for gay rights has been won" ... well, in Britain anyway, as described by Julian Glover in The Guardian, which I read reprinted in The Week. He concludes that since Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative, hosted a big Downing Street reception for "lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender Britain", no single party can now claim to be the natural home of the gay vote. Gays do continue to face some discrimination, but "the fact that someone is gay or lesbian need no longer be their primary defining characteristic."

Public opinion is shifting in America, too. Despite frequent headlines over the past few years about controversy over gay marriage, Americans are becoming more receptive to almost every other issue regarding gay rights. For example, in May, one poll found that 78 percent of Americans would like to see the ban on openly gay soldiers lifted (compare this to a much more closely divided split in the 1990s on the issue.)

In related news, Argentina recently became the first country in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage, after fierce debate. Actually, it's only the 10th country to do so worldwide (along with Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and some parts of Mexico and the US), although another 20 countries perform civil unions, and they are recognized in a growing number of other places, too.

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