In San Francisco, marchers are planning to celebrate homosexuality June 26 and 27 in that city's massive Gay Pride parade. Across the rest of the United States, other groups of gays and lesbians have scheduled similar events. Here's a wrap-up of news pertaining to homosexuality in the first half of 2010.
Gay marriage makes gains despite public opposition
On New Year's Day, New Hampshire became the fifth state in the United States to grant marriage certificates to same-sex couples. The Granite State joined Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Vermont as places where gay couples are permitted to marry.
On March 3 Washington, D.C., began issuing same-sex marriage certificates. Three states-Maryland, New York, and Rhode Island-recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states but do not offer their own marriage certificates to homosexual couples.
Same-sex marriage has failed to win public approval wherever it has been proposed as a referendum question.
Normally, the Christian ministry Exodus International-which helps gays wanting to leave the homosexual lifestyle and overcome their tendencies-is on the same side as Dawson McAllister, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who is also a Christian. But the ministry was not pleased when McAllister bowed to pressure from supervisors at Clear Channel Communications and stopped referring callers to Exodus International.
The decision came after a listener, 22-year-old Greg Kimball from New England, posed as a 16-year-old boy calling McAllister's "HopeLine" with concerns that he might be gay. Kimball objected to a HopeLine worker's suggestion that he could overcome gay tendencies. He objected further to the referral to Exodus International.
After complaints from gay advocacy groups, Clear Channel officials instructed McAllister-who formerly aired on exclusively Christian stations before making the jump to Top 40 mainstream formats-to make sure he operated "in a manner consistent with our corporate commitments to diversity."
"It's the freedom to express a traditional viewpoint of sexuality that's really at stake," said Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International.
Gays in the military
The Obama administration has set its sights on terminating the 1993 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gays in the military-preferring to allow homosexuals to openly serve in the U.S. armed forces.
In May, Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirmed that the U.S. Defense Department is preparing to dismantle the 17-year-old provision-though he favors a gradual effort rather than immediate repeal.
The department is "developing a plan to implement such a repeal in the most informed and effective manner possible," Gates wrote in a letter to U.S. Rep. Carl Levin, D-Mich. The House voted to repeal the rule on May 27. In the U.S. Senate, Connecticut independent Joe Lieberman is leading efforts to gather support for repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
The Center for Military Readiness, a nonprofit group, has expressed alarm at plans to put out the welcome mat for openly gay men and women wanting to serve in the military. "All of this is being done for political reasons, just to please gay activists who consider the law to be 'unfair,'" reads an editorial on the organization's website. "Military men and women are about to be used in an involuntary social experiment, paying a high and possibly irrevocable price for the president's political promises to lesbian, gay, bisexual [and] transgendered activists."
Physicians raise cautions
The American College of Pediatricians, an eight-year-old organization formed after other medical groups adopted politically correct positions, mailed out a letter in April to all 14,800 U.S. school superintendents, cautioning them not to encourage young people to adopt a homosexual identity.
The physicians reminded school officials that as many as one-fourth of adolescents may experience a period of uncertainty over sexual orientation-though only 2 percent to 3 percent wind up actually being gay. "The majority of sexually questioning youth ultimately adopt a heterosexual identity," the letter states: "It is essential to understand there is no scientific evidence that an individual is born 'gay' or 'transgender.'"