2014 was another blockbuster year for the freedom to marry. In January gay couples could marry in 19 states. By December that number had skyrocketed to 35 -- covering two thirds of the American people. The momentum for marriage is off the charts, and the joy and security marriage brings are now shared by millions of gay Americans.
For a company like Apple to stand at the forefront of diversity and equality issues as well as embracing a prominent gay CEO sends a message to businesses that to succeed, you need to embrace diversity and equality. Tim Cook has instantly made himself a role model for countless gay youth who can now point to a successful openly gay businessman and say, "I can do it too."
Utah State Rep. Kraig Powell (R-Heber City) is proposing innovative legislation in his state: "I have come up with a word we probably can use and see if the courts will accept. ... [T]he same-sex legal relationship between partners is called pairage. The legal relationship between opposite sex partners is called marriage." Mr. Powell is really onto something here.
Once we learn to see the stories of LGBT people not as "their" story but as human stories, then we can see that we are interconnected and our struggles are universal. After all, all people have to learn to feel comfortable in their own skin. We all have parts of ourselves that we need to come to terms with and accept, whether we're gay or straight.
Sure, it's great that Paul Singer has helped pass marriage equality in states and raised money for four Republicans who voted for equality with the vast majority of Democrats in New York. But, meanwhile, he is undermining LGBT rights -- and all progressive causes -- by helping opponents of equality win more House races and helping Republicans win control of the Senate.
Believe it or not, right now some Republicans are working feverishly to get support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the GOP and try to pass it in the House in this session, with the dangerous religious exemption that caused LGBT groups to withdraw support. The irony here is off the charts.
Last week a new study reported that children raised by same-sex couples fare even better than those raised in normal biological families. Despite these positive conclusions, the study hurts the gay community by shifting the debate from one of inalienable rights to one of rights based on equal or superior performance.
The good news of the past year has been accompanied by a number of disturbing developments. One is the fact that it is still perfectly legal in the majority of U.S. states to fire people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) or to deny them housing or a loan, simply because they are LGBT.
On the third anniversary of New York's landmark law, it is clear that the arc of history has bent toward recognizing and legalizing loving, committed relationships between couples, regardless of their sex. But there is much more to be done. How can we best change the hearts and minds of those most violently opposed to our equal rights?