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Best of 2011: LGBT News Stories

Best of 2011: LGBT News Stories

To wrap up 2011, our sibling site Advocate.com put together several "Best of" lists to recount headline makers for the LGBT community this year. Here we have the top five news stories for 2011, but be sure to check out the other stories that made Advocate's 21 Top News Stories of the Year.

To wrap up 2011, our sibling site Advocate.com put together several "Best of" lists to recount headline makers for the LGBT community this year. Here we have the top five news stories for 2011, but be sure to check out the other stories that made Advocate's 21 Top News Stories of the Year.

All things gay were central to the 24/7 news cycle in 2011, and almost daily mainstream America saw stories about marriage equality, bullied kids, a dancing trans man and heroic gays. Here are the top five news flashes that topped our gaydar this year. 

1. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Is Dead

 

Now it’s OK to be an openly gay or lesbian soldier. But the fact that there’s still no marriage equality in the military could possibly be the catalyst that leads to federal recognition of same-sex marriages, experts predict. Already the Pentagon ruled that chaplains can officiate at same-sex weddings as long as state laws also permit such unions.

2. New York Says “I Do"

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo lobbied lawmakers (including four Republicans) into making their state the largest so far to allow same-sex marriages. Now antigay groups including the National Organization for Marriage promise electoral revenge on pols who supported the measure.

3. The Case of Proposition 8

Super-lawyers David Boies and Ted Olson continue to beat down delays that keep the case from reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. Proponents had argued (unsuccessfully) that Judge Vaughn Walker was unqualified to overrule Prop. 8 because he’s gay. Then they begged the court not to release potentially embarrassing videotapes of witnesses’ feeble testimony (and lost). Stay tuned for appeals.

4. More Bullying, More Teen Suicides

 

Despite a year of It Gets Better videos, including his own, gay 14-year-old upstate New York student Jamey Rodemeyer killed himself after unceasing taunting at school. His death highlighted frustration with a bullying and suicide problem that isn’t going away. Outrage led Lady Gaga to raise the issue with President Obama, Anderson Cooper hosted televised specials on bullying, and everyone agreed that more needs to be done. Next year could be the time.

5. Gabrielle Giffords’s Heroic Intern

Daniel Hernandez stayed by the Arizona congresswoman’s side after she was shot in the head by a gunman, helping to save her life. As Giffords’s comeback continues, she and Hernandez are a reminder that Americans—including gay Americans—are brave in the face of adversity.

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