As the month of October winds down the focus is on Halloween and yes the upcoming holidays. With the stores already filled with Christmas decorations we can’t help but look to special times with our families whether they be our fur babies or time with relatives we rarely see. October is the month we celebrate LGBT History month. The first celebration of LGBT History month occurred in 1994. Our history is observed in the month of October to coincide with National Coming Out Day celebrated October 11th. I am amazed daily at how far we have come—we can legally marry! We have a long way to go…. our journey is far from over. From Stonewall to Mathew Sheppard to the more recent and horrific murders of our transgender community each event shapes what and who we are as a community. While tragic, all of these events help us to change history and move us closer to the same rights as the masses. As we grow stronger we have the opportunity to educate those who don’t understand. While there isn’t tolerance for us we must have tolerance for our haters. We need to stand strong together and continue to fight the good fight!
The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which restricted lesbians, gays, and bisexuals in the military from openly serving, was lifted in 2011. People who are transgender are not permitted to serve openly yet.
In July 2009, the Senate approved the Matthew Shepard Act, which outlaws hate crimes based on both sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Employment Nondiscrimination Act passed Congress in 2007 is the act that prohibits discrimination of sexual orientation in the workplace, specifically during hiring - in the state of Pennsylvania there are no anti-discrimination laws in place to protect employment.
For more information the attached LGBT Pride Month timeline lists some wins and losses in our fight for equality. Not listed is the Supreme Court Ruling allowing same sex marriage.