The Current State of the Struggle for Equal Civil Marriage Rights

The proposed anti-gay, anti-family Federal Marriage Amendment reads: “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.”


FMA DEFEATED! – Soulforce Applauds U.S. Senate for Rejecting the anti-family Federal Marriage Amendment – July 14, 2004 Press Release

Soulforce Letter to Congress Opposing the Proposed Federal Marriage Amendment – June 22, 2004

Soulforce People of Faith Petition against the "so-called" Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) (pdf version)

Soulforce TALKING POINTS on defining and obtaining equal civil marriage rights and defeating the anti-gay, anti-family federal "marriage" amendment (Click here for PDF file)

Media Message Points (pdf) – Soulforce’s four main message points regarding civil marriage and the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment

Community Action Plan (pdf) for educating and advocating for equal civil marriage rights in your community and beyond

Bulletin Insert for your local Congregation (pdf)

Soulforce Action Alert (11/21/03) – WHAT YOU CAN DO! Click here for pdf file

Sample Letter to Congress People Opposing the FMA Find and email your Congress people

Sample Letter to the Editor

Soulforce Alert on the Threat and Tragic Consequences of the FMA

Soulforce Policy Statement on Civil Marriage, August 1, 2003 (Click here for pdf)

Soulforce Flyer on the "so-called" Federal Marriage Amendment (pdf) (please download pdf, make copies, and distribute widely!)

A Soulforce Background Paper (Including a sample list of the rights and protections denied same-gender couples)

Religious Support for Equal Marriage Rights Brochure (pdf): Pdf file provided for printing on 2 pages of Legal Size paper (8 1/2 x 14)

Dos and Donts of Religious Organizing (pdf) – Which political activities are allowed and which are not


Intersexuality and the Marriage Debate: "Bodies Like Ours" oped written by Betsy Driver

"God is Still Speaking, About Marriage," a package of educational resources designed to help congregations understand and talk about this issue.

Marriage Brochure from Interfaith Working Group on Religious Support for Equal Civil Marriage Rights

Sermon on Equal Marriage Rights by Don Southworth, Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation (of Atlanta)


Civil Marriage Resources from GLAAD

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

Gay and Lesbian Advocate and Defenders (Great Resource for Information on Massachusetts marriage decision)

Intersexuality and the Marriage Debate

Other Resources:

  1. New York To Recognize Gay Partnerships

  2. Canada to open same-sex marriage issue to debate

  3. Dutch Government OK’s Same-Gender Marriage

  4. Good News: In Philadelphia Life Partnership is Official

  5. More Employers Weigh Domestic Partner Benefits

  6. An Ancient and Historic Reminder When Marriage Between Gays Was By Rite

  7. Why "Civil Union" Isn’t Marriage

  8. In Defense of Marriage Act and The Great Commandment

  9. Dutch Gay Marriage Stats Released

  10. California Approves Domestic Partnerships
    Californians Get The Official Form Here

For the most up-to-date information link
The Marriage Project of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.

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by Beth Shapiro Newscenter in New York
Posted: August 16, 2002
12:19 a.m. EDT/+5GMT/-3PDT

(New York City) Civil Unions, legal in other jurisdictions, now will be legal in New York City. Under legislation passed Thursday, New York has become the first area in the US, outside Vermont and California, to recognize gay and lesbian partnership unions.

Vermont is still the only state in the United States in which gay civil unions are legal. A partner registry has been created in California. Similar registries exist in Nova Scotia and Quebec, and in England and Germany. But, Holland is the only country which currently allows gays and lesbians full marriage rights.

The move, by New York means that city residents who travel outside the state to be united will have the union recognized at home. It also allows couples who have had civil unions to retain their status if they move to or visit New York.

If one of the pair were hospitalized, for example, the partner would be treated as a spouse for visiting purposes.

But, the law does not create a separate registry in New York, nor does it permit civil union ceremonies to be legally performed in the city. It is, however, a small step forward, gay rights advocates say.

Councilman Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) objected strenuously to the legislation, which passed by a vote of 34 in favour, 7 against and 4 abstentions.

Felder, an Orthodox Jew, said he objected to the use of the word “marriage” several times in the debate and said was against gay marriages on moral grounds.

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OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian government, stung by a court decision that ordered it to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples, will set up a parliamentary committee to ask the public what it thinks of the idea.

"It’s a question of law but it is a very important question of social issue," Justice Minister Martin Cauchon said after a cabinet meeting Wednesday. "The government is very much open-minded to having an open discussion with Canadians, and of course within the Liberal (Party) family as well."

Last week, Ottawa said it would appeal an Ontario lower court ruling that said the traditional definition of marriage — the union between a man and a woman — was unconstitutional in excluding gays.

The court gave the federal and Ontario provincial governments two years to change their laws in a ruling welcomed by gay activists but condemned by conservative groups.

In its decision to appeal, the government said there was no consensus that homosexuals should be allowed to marry.

"Proceeding with the appeal keeps all the options open for the government, thereby respecting the consultation process," Cauchon said Wednesday.

The justice minister said his department would present a discussion paper to kick-start the consultations in September, outlining some of the possible policy directions.

Parliament overhauled 68 federal statutes in 2000 to erase most legal differences between heterosexual and homosexual couples. But the government pointedly drew the line at changing the definition of marriage.

08/07/02 16:54 ET

Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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Millions of our fellow Americans are confused and misinformed in the belief that marriage is an institution for mixed-gender couples only. In fact, same-gender marriage is an ancient and honorable tradition, practiced now as it has been practiced for more than 1,000 years. (See article that follows on John Boswell’s Same Sex Unions In Pre-Modern Europe).

Twenty-eight years ago, the Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, conducted his first same-gender wedding ceremony in his home in Los Angeles, California. And though same-gender marriage had no legal standing then (as it has no legal standing now) from that day, UFMCC clergy have performed the rite of holy union for lesbian and gay congregants who want their relationship to be blessed by God and honored by their community of faith.

Nothing the President, the Congress, or the Courts can decide will stop lesbian and gay Americans from falling in love and getting married. Oscar Hammerstein said it best: "Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. You can’t have one without the other."

Already, millions of lesbian and gay Americans live together as married couples, in loving, committed, long-term relationships. Every year, thousands of new same-gender marriages are being performed (overtly and covertly) not just by UFMCC clergy, but by enlightened and courageous Protestant, Jewish, and even Catholic ministers and priests as well. We have that rite and will continue to celebrate it, even in the face of bigotry and discrimination.

The question, therefore, is not whether national and state laws oppose the rite of same-gender marriage. The question is whether the Congress and the courts will grant lesbian and gay couples the same 1,047 legal rights and protections obtained automatically by mixed-genders who marry.

Gay and lesbian couples may not be admitted into an emergency ward to see their partners because they are not legally the next of kin. They don’t have the right to share tax returns, pensions, or government benefits like Social Security. They can’t share parental custody, join property, health insurance, or automatic inheritance rights. They can’t make medical decisions if their partner becomes disabled. Even their wills and Powers of Attorney can be set aside by judges who refuse to recognize their long-term relationships.

Lesbian and gay couples are married in the eyes of God and in the eyes of their supportive friends and family; and yet these same couples are denied 1,047 federal and state rights and protections that go automatically with mixed-gender marriage. This is just a small sample of the rights that outlawing same-gender marriage will deny us:

  • Automatic Inheritance
  • Assumption of Spouse’s Pension
  • Bereavement Leave
  • Burial Determination
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce Protections
  • Domestic Violence Protection
  • Exemption from Property Tax on Partner’s Death
  • Immigration Rights for Foreign Spouse
  • Insurance Breaks
  • Joint Adoption and Foster Care
  • Joint Bankruptcy
  • Joint Parenting (Insurance Coverage, School Records)
  • Medical Decision on Behalf of Partner
  • Various Property Rights
  • Reduced Rate Memberships
  • Sick Leave to Care for Partner
  • Social Security Survivor Benefits
  • Tax Breaks
  • Visitation of Partner’s Children
  • Visitation of Partner in Hospital or Prison
  • Wrongful Death Benefits

How many times unsupportive parents have misused the law to cut off one partner from the love and comfort of another in his or her greatest hour of need. How many times surviving parents have been awarded child custody instead of the surviving gay or lesbian parent or have been given prized possession a couple has earned together.

This debate is not about marriage. It is about the immoral and unconstitutional practice of withholding those legal rights from millions of law-abiding, tax-paying Americans on the basis of sexual orientation alone.

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Same-gender couples will soon be able to marry in the Netherlands, now that the cabinet is as ready to march down the aisle as the Parliament has been for months.

"Civil marriage will be made available to people of the same sex," said a statement issued by the Netherlands’ cabinet December 11, according to a Reuters report. Although the Parliament will have to give its approval, it’s been ready to do so for months, while the government has cautiously applied the brakes.

The registered partnerships which are already in place in the Netherlands will be convertible to marriages when the law is in place. When a measure opening adoptions to same-gender couples now pending before the Netherlands’ Parliament passes as expected, the domestic partnerships there will already be the strongest in the world, even before full civil marriages are available.

Registered partnerships equivalent to civil marriage except for adoption rights are currently in place in Denmark, Greenland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. As a result of court rulings rather than legislation, Belgium and Hungary recognize same-gender couples’ inheritance rights, and Israel recognizes couples for survivor benefits.

France’s Senate will soon be taking up the hotly-contested domestic partnership bill which the Assembly approved this week, and Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies was also expected to vote on a similar measure this week. Germany’s new Socialist-led government has promised increased recognition of same-gender couples there.

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By Julie Stoiber
Inquirer Staff Writer

They met on a bus in Washington, one riding to work, the other to art school. The attraction was instantaneous. Swaying side by side in the aisle, they cobbled together a conversation, one speaking English, the other Portuguese.

A few stops later, when they parted, one carried a quickly scribbled phone number.

Thirty years later, they are still side by side, still preferring each other’s company to anyone else’s.

And now, the relationship between Link Harper and Jonas dos Santos is "official." Last night, in a milestone ceremony for Harper, dos Santos and others in Philadelphia’s gay community, same-gender relationships were recognized for the first time by the city as "life partnerships" and endowed with benefits once reserved for married couples. "It’s such an accomplishment," said Harper, a photographer in the City’s Department of Records.

Though they didn’t need a city document to affirm their partnership, "it gives an incredible sense of pride," said dos Santos, an artist. For a decade, City Council had debated, and ultimately defeated, legislation that would give official recognition of gay relationships. But last spring, following a long and anguished discussion, and over the objections of Council President John F. Street, Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua and other powerful foes, Council passed three controversial domestic partnership bills.

Last night, in a ceremony in the Mayor’s Reception Room, 30 couples — some carrying bouquets, all smiling broadly for the cameras — received their certificates. As their names were called, they walked to the front of the room.

Many were holding hands; Mary Louise Cervone and Kathleen Burke were holding their 2-year-old son, Danny. A standing ovation greeted Charles Rudolph and David Kloss, who have been together 35 years. The document means city workers can add their partners to their city-paid health insurance policies — saving them hundreds of dollars a month in premiums — and name them as beneficiaries for city pensions. For all gay couples in the city, life partner status means an exemption from the city’s 3 percent real estate transfer tax if they sell each other property. Couples also can use the life-partner document when applying for insurance, joint bank accounts and joint credit cards.

"You can get those things now, but this may make it easier," said Kevin E. Vaughan, executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, which is overseeing domestic partnership registration. Couples who break up must sign a notarized "termination statement" and file it with the commission. Compared to other large cities, Philadelphia was slow to pass domestic partnership legislation: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Seattle and Washington already had laws on the books. Many corporations — including IBM, Levi Strauss and Bell Atlantic — provided such benefits. And some Philadelphia city workers had them, too — 500 non-union employees, by Mayor Rendell’s order, and 4,100 members of District Council 47 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

But the rest of the city’s 23,000 workers did not. The significance of the domestic partnership legislation goes beyond the merely practical, though. For many, it’s all about symbolism.

"These are people, in many cases, who have been in relationships for many years, and yet they have never had official recognition of their family lives by a public entity," Vaughan said.

Judy Kramer, a medical photographer, and her partner, Dale Ralston, a physician’s assistant, won’t receive any tangible benefits from life partner status, except the satisfaction of having their relationship publicly affirmed.

"We’ve been together 23 years, and basically there’s nothing to show for it, no public acknowledgment," Kramer said. "It may help change some attitudes in the general public."

The human relations office has received more than 100 calls requesting domestic partnership registration packets, Vaughan said.

Harper and dos Santos dressed up for the event, in matching custom-made sport coats from Portugal.

The partnership ceremony reminded dos Santos, a native of Brazil, of the day he became a U.S. citizen. "Very special," he said.

The couple planned to celebrate with a quiet dinner at home afterward. Dos Santos loves to cook, but because of work and the ceremony, dinner would probably be takeout from their favorite Vietnamese restaurant.

Their rowhouse just north of Northern Liberties is full of unusual art and the warm, sweet smell of incense. There’s a homey quilt on the bed in their guest room, a vase of pale pink roses on the kitchen table, and a heavenly courtyard out back, lush with ivy and red impatiens. It’s a good life, they say, harmonious and balanced, rich with love.

"It’s not husband and wife, it is two males living and loving one another," dos Santos said in an interview the day before the ceremony.

"It isn’t role-playing," added Harper.

"It’s a communion," dos Santos said. "It’s really powerful."

They have never hidden their relationship. Their families accepted it — dos Santos refers to Harper’s father and stepmother as "my in-laws" — and so have their co-workers and friends.

Like Kramer, they hope City Council’s willingness to recognize relationships like theirs might change some negative stereotypes of gay life.

"The domestic partnership bill is giving validation to two people who can live together, who can contribute to society, who can be decent, who can be creative," dos Santos said. Harper, whose duties as a city photographer include taking pictures at City Council meetings, said the gay community is indebted to Vaughan, Rendell and others who backed domestic partner legislation.

"Mayor Rendell’s push and drive inspired those Council people," he said. "I think he gave them the feeling they could express openly the way they felt, and they did, and it passed." City Council’s choice of the terminology "domestic partner" was ideal, Harper said.

"It has a kind of neutrality … it’s not romantic," he said. "When it gets romantic, people get put off."

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By Sherwood Ross
REUTERS, September 28, 1998

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Although only 6 percent of employers currently offer their workers benefit coverage for domestic partners, 29 percent more have the idea under consideration, a new study shows.

Such actions could be a boon to many of the estimated 5.6 million households headed by unmarried couples, approximately one-third of them same-gender couples.

Domestic partners are defined as unmarried people "who live together in a financial relationship, and have some type of financial interdependence," according to Buck Consultants, Inc., a New York-based human resources firm that conducted the benefits survey.

"More and more companies are accepting that this is the right thing to do," said Marsha Venturi, a principal in Buck’s Secaucus, N.J., office.

"If it’s offered to those partners where the serious nature of the commitment is at the same level as someone who might be married to someone else, we don’t expect it to be significantly more costly than if you cover spouses and other family members," Venturi said.

"As pressure increases to attract and retain talented employees, many employers find that providing domestic partner benefits is a relatively low cost means of achieving this goal," an executive summary of the study published by the consulting firm said.

However, Phoebe Liebig, associate professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a benefits authority, said, "My guess is that this benefit isn’t going to be something that springs up like wildflowers because there is a move now in Congress to cut off these kinds of benefits, particularly for same-gender."

Buck found that employers who offer the benefit do so "in an attempt to be fair to all employees," to "create employee goodwill" and to "enhance the employer’s overall corporate image for innovation" in human resources practices.

Other employers are acting "for fear of employee claims of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or marital status," the consulting firm said.

Of employers who do not offer the benefit, 56 percent said there was no employee interest in it; 30 percent cited cost concerns; and 21 percent said they had moral objections to it. (Some gave more than one reason.)

The trend toward benefits for nontraditional couples became apparent when Buck surveyed 1,058 employers last August. Two-thirds of the companies had 500 workers or more, making the study data more representative of larger businesses than smaller ones.

According to Buck, employers who set up domestic partner coverage must decide if the benefits will be limited to same-gender domestic partners who cannot marry by law or if they will be available to all unmarried partners who meet their requirements.

Buck said that employers could define eligible "domestic partners" in a variety of ways, including:

  • A committed relationship of two unrelated individuals.
  • A specified minimum time period for the relationship to have endured, say, two years.
  • Cohabitation.
  • Shared responsibilities on the part of the partners, both domestically and financially.

Employers’ fears that covering male same sex-couples might drive up their health costs by increasing the risk of AIDS claims "has not proven to be true among employers actually offering such coverage," the Buck executive summary said.

Because of privacy concerns, they noted, gay employees often decline to enroll partners in corporate health care plans.

EDITORS: Sherwood Ross is a freelance writer who covers workplace issues for Reuters. Any opinions in the column are solely those of Mr. Ross.

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Provided by

As the churches struggle with the issue of homosexuality, a long tradition of gay marriage indicates that the Christian attitude to same-gender unions may not always have been as "straight" as is now suggested, writes Jim Duffy.

by Jim Duffy

Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St Catherine’s monastery on Mount Sinai. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman pronubus (best man) overseeing what in a standard Roman icon would be the wedding of a husband and wife. In the icon, Christ is the pronubus. Only one thing is unusual. The "husband and wife" are in fact two men.

Is the icon suggesting that a homosexual "marriage" is one sanctified by Christ? The very idea initially seems shocking. The full answer comes from other sources about the two men featured, St Serge and St Bacchus, two Roman soldiers who became Christian martyrs.

While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early Church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly close. Severus of Antioch in the sixth century explained that "we should not separate in speech [Serge and Bacchus] who were joined in life". More bluntly, in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, St Serge is openly described as the "sweet companion and lover" of St Bacchus.

In other words, it confirms what the earlier icon implies, that they were a homosexual couple. Unusually their orientation and relationship was openly accepted by early Christian writers. Furthermore, in an image that to some modern Christian eyes might border on blasphemy, the icon has Christ himself as their pronubus, their best man overseeing their "marriage".

The very idea of a Christian homosexual marriage seems incredible. Yet after a 12-year search of Catholic and Orthodox church archives, Yale history professor John Boswell has discovered that a type of Christian homosexual "marriage" did exist as late as the 18th century.

Contrary to myth, Christianity’s concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has evolved both as a concept and as a ritual. Prof Boswell discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient church liturgical documents (and clearly separate from other types of non-marital blessings such as blessings of adopted children or land) were ceremonies called, among other titles, the "Office of Same-Sex Union" (10th and 11th century Greek) or the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century).

These ceremonies had all the contemporary symbols of a marriage: a community gathered in church, a blessing of the couple before the altar, their right hands joined as at heterosexual marriages, the participation of a priest, the taking of the Eucharist, a wedding banquet afterwards. All of which are shown in contemporary drawings of the same-gender union of Byzantine Emperor Basil I (867-886) and his companion John. Such homosexual unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12th/early 13th century, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (Geraldus Cambrensis) has recorded.

Boswell’s book, The Marriage of Likeness: Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe, lists in detail some same-gender union ceremonies found in ancient church liturgical documents. One Greek 13th century "Order for Solemnisation of Same-Sex Union", having invoked St Serge and St Bacchus, called on God to "vouchsafe unto these thy servants [N and N] grace to love one another and to abide unhated and not a cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God and all thy saints." The ceremony concludes: "And they shall kiss the Holy Gospel and each other, and it shall be concluded."

Another 14th century Serbian Slavonic "Office of Same-Sex Union", uniting two men or two women, had the couple having their right hands laid on the Gospel while having a cross placed in their left hands. Having kissed the Gospel, the couple were then required to kiss each other, after which the priest, having raised up the Eucharist, would give them both communion.

Boswell found records of same-gender unions in such diverse archives as those in the Vatican, in St Petersburg, in Paris, Istanbul, and in Sinai, covering a period from the 8th to the 18th centuries. Nor is he the first to make such a discovery. The Dominican Jacques Goar (1601-1653) includes such ceremonies in a printed collection of Greek prayer books.

While homosexuality was technically illegal from late Roman times, it was only from about the 14th century that anti- homosexual feelings swept western Europe. Yet same

Research links USA religious leaders to manipulation of African leaders on LGBT issues

Globalizing the culture warsGlobalizing the Culture Wars is helpful for framing the debate about global church, LGBTQ, and race issues.

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Hospital Visitation Regulations Go Into Effect Today

From the White House blog
Posted by Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, on January 18, 2011 at 05:41 PM EST

"There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital.  In these hours of need and moments of pain and anxiety, all of us would hope to have a hand to hold, a shoulder on which to lean – a loved one to be there for us, as we would be there for them."

With those words on April 15, 2010 President Obama directed HHS Secretary Sebelius to initiate rulemaking to ensure that hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid respect the rights of patients to designate visitors.  The President further advised that the rule should ensure that participating hospitals may not deny visitation privileges based on factors including sexual orientation or gender identity.
Today the new Hospital Visitation Regulations go into effect.

This policy impacts millions of LGBT Americans and their families.  The President saw an injustice and felt very strongly about correcting this and has spoken about it often over the years.  I want to thank HHS Secretary Sebelius and her team for their resolve to see this rule implemented.  In fact, long before this rule was finalized, back in June, 2010 the Secretary laid the groundwork by reaching out to leaders of major hospital associations asking them to encourage their member hospitals to not wait for the formal rulemaking to run its course regarding patient-centered visitation rights suggested by the President.

This significant policy change is due in no small part to the journeys of two incredibly courageous and passionate women, Janice Langbehn and Charlene Strong.  Both lived through unimaginable experiences with the loss of their wives and life partners.   While I never had the opportunity to meet Janice’s wife Lisa Pond, or Charlene’s wife Kate Fleming, I have had the honor to meet and work with Janice and Charlene.  I want to thank them for bringing us all into their lives and for sharing themselves and their families with us, and for using their voices to make lives better for LGBT families.

Important Videos from MSNBC

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Exodus pulls support from anti-gay "Day of Truth"

A national Christian organization will stop sponsoring an annual event that encourages school students to "counter the promotion of homosexual behavior" because the event has become too divisive and confrontational, the group’s president told CNN on Wednesday.

"All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they’d like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not," said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, the group that sponsored the event this year.

Called the Day of Truth, the annual April event has been pushed by influential conservative Christian groups as a way to counter to the annual Day of Silence, an event promoted by gay rights advocates to highlight threats against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

Read the news on CNN

The Supreme Court Overturns Sodomy Laws in Landmark Case

Soulforce Press Release On Supreme Court Case

Pat Robertson Prays for Supreme Court justices retirement

More information from Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

The Sodomy Laws That Had Kept Us From Living and Loving Openly

Texas Sodomy Arrest Opens Legal Battle for Gay Activists

Georgia Supreme Court Repeals Sodomy Law

Ending Sodomy Laws

Link to the following sites for up-to-date information:

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By Paul Duggan, Washington Post Staff Writer

HOUSTON – Rarely does a police officer witness violations of Section 21.06 of the Texas criminal code, the section entitled "Homosexual conduct." And almost never is an arrest made under the 119-year-old statute. So what happened recently to John Lawrence and Tyrone Garner, in the supposed privacy of Lawrence’s bedroom, was highly unusual.

The two men were having sex when a Harris County sheriff’s deputy walked into the apartment on another matter, saw what they were doing and hauled them off to jail.

"In all candor, I don’t believe we’ve ever made an arrest before under those circumstances," said Capt. Don McWilliams, a sheriff’s spokesman. But the law is the law, he said. "We can’t give our deputies a list of statutes we think they should enforce and a list of statutes we want them to ignore."

The handcuffing of Lawrence and Garner that night did more than just satisfy the deputy’s obligation to enforce the law. It opened a new legal front in a long campaign by gay activists across the country to do away with such statutes, which they contend are unconstitutional.

Georgia’s highest court issued a ruling Monday that struck down that state’s law against consensual sodomy, but statutes prohibiting the practice remain on the books in Puerto Rico and 19 states, including Maryland and Virginia. Five of the states, including Texas, limit the ban to same-sex couples. Now lawyers have seized on the Houston case as a vehicle to again contest the legitimacy of the Texas statute, which has survived three legal challenges since the early 1980s.

Among similar court challenges in four other states and in Puerto Rico, four are lawsuits, including one in Maryland — where a judge ruled last month that homosexual oral sex is not illegal but refused to declare the sodomy statute unconstitutional. Only two cases, in Minnesota and now Texas, stem from criminal charges. And as gay activists see it, no case more vividly illustrates the threat such laws pose to privacy than the Sept. 17 arrests of Lawrence and Garner.

Answering what turned out to be a bogus report of a man behaving erratically with a gun, Deputy Joseph Quinn arrived at an apartment building east of Houston about 10:30 p.m. and met Roger Nance, 41, who had phoned in the complaint, authorities said.

Nance directed Quinn to apartment No. 833, Lawrence’s apartment. The deputy entered through the unlocked door with his weapon drawn. After finding no one with a gun, Quinn later wrote in his report, he "observed [Lawrence] engaged in deviate sexual conduct, namely, anal sex, with another man." Lawrence, 55, and Garner, 31, spent the rest of the night behind bars before each was let out on $200 bail.

Nance’s false report, for which he served 15 days in jail, stemmed from "a personality dispute" between him and the two men, the sheriff’s department said.

Lawrence and Garner pleaded no contest earlier this month to violating the anti-sodomy statute and were fined $125 each by a justice of the peace. Now the stage is set for what lawyers predict will be a long appeals process, one they hope will end with the state’s highest criminal appeals court invalidating the law as an infringement on privacy as protected by Texas Constitution.

The arrests in some ways delighted gay activists. They said the case not only provides a long-awaited legal platform to challenge the Texas law, but also has a public-awareness benefit, offering facts that underscore their warnings about privacy. Here, they contend, was an instance of government authority literally reaching under a person’s blankets.

"You can’t get more private than a bedroom," said Suzanne B. Goldberg, a lawyer with the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, which is representing the men.

In the other criminal case resulting in a legal challenge, a Minnesota bartender was arrested for engaging in oral sex with a woman in the bar after closing time. Minnesota’s law, which applies to all couples, includes oral sex in the definition of sodomy, as does the Texas law. But in Minnesota, police witnessed the offense after the fact, while viewing a videotape from the bar’s security camera during an unrelated investigation.

The Texas case "should really show the public how invasive these laws can be," said Michael Adams, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which is handling the Minnesota appeal. "It shows that the police really do intrude into the home. And the fact that people have to live in fear of that is terrible."

Goldberg said Lawrence, who works in medical technology, and Garner, a shipping clerk, did not want to be interviewed. McWilliams said Quinn also has declined to comment on the arrests.

As they have in other states, conservative groups voiced support for the Texas law on moral grounds.

Cathie Adams, president of the Eagle Forum’s Texas chapter, said the law banning same-sex sodomy helps maintain a distinction between traditional couples and those "who practice homosexuality," which she called "unnatural and unhealthy."

In addition to citing privacy concerns, activists have complained that such laws often are used as a pretext for discriminating against homosexuals in employment, child custody and other matters.

In one earlier, unsuccessful challenge to the Texas law, for example, an openly lesbian job applicant sued the Dallas Police Department for refusing to hire her. The department said it could not employ her because it presumed she was routinely violating the law in private, by the nature of her homosexuality. The city now has an ordinance barring job discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Wyatt Roberts, chairman of the American Family Association of Texas, said he favors retaining the Texas statute so it can be used as it was in Dallas.

Homosexuality "speaks for a person’s character," Roberts said, and ought to be a legal basis for denying homosexuals child custody and certain jobs. "I think most people in Texas respect a person’s right to privacy," he said, "while at the same time they think homosexuality should be discouraged."

In an earlier challenge to the now-defunct Georgia law, which banned sodomy by all couples, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the statute in 1986 in a case that focused on the privacy issue. The court said the U.S. Constitution "does not confer a fundamental right upon homosexuals to engage in sodomy."

But the ruling noted that state courts may strike down such laws if they are found to violate privacy protections that are guaranteed or implicit in state constitutions.

That was the basis for the Georgia Supreme Court’s ruling this week, one that gay activists hope will be repeated in the other state courts. In addition to the cases in Texas, Minnesota, Maryland and Puerto Rico, challenges are pending in state courts in Arkansas and Louisiana.

Citing the U.S. Constitution’s equal-protection clause, activists said they also may eventually begin federal court challenges to the Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri anti-sodomy laws, which apply to same-sex couples but not heterosexuals.

In a federal lawsuit challenging the Texas law on privacy grounds in the early 1980s, a gay man prevailed in U.S. District Court in Dallas. But a federal appeals court reversed the ruling and upheld the statute in 1985, and a year later the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Georgia case.

Two state court challenges to the law, including the case involving the Dallas police force, were dismissed in 1994 by the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled that the legitimacy of a criminal statute in Texas cannot be contested through a lawsuit, that the challenge must arise from a criminal case.

Activists have waited four years for such a case. Now they have it.


Five states prohibit consensual sodomy among same-sex couples only; 14 states plus Puerto Rico prohibit consensual sodomy among all couples.

States with laws prohibiting consensual sodomy among all couples: Virginia, Maryland*, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Minnesota*, Louisiana*, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Michigan, Puerto Rico*.

States with laws prohibiting consensual sodomy among same-sex couples only: Oklahoma, Texas*, Kansas, Arkansas*, Missouri.

* States facing legal challenge.

NOTES: In some jurisdictions, oral sex is included in the definition of sodomy. In the most recently decided case, the Georgia Supreme Court struck down Georgia’s anti-sodomy statute on Nov. 23, ruling that it violated privacy rights guaranteed by the state constitution.

The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Gay and Lesbian Task Force of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Washington Post, November 29, 1998
1150 15th Street NW, Washington DC, 20071
Online Mailer:

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Tracey Conaty, Communications Director
800-757-6476 pager
2320 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

[ Return to Top]

Washington, DC-November 23, 1998

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today celebrates a 6-1 vote by the Georgia Supreme Court to repeal that state’s sodomy law. The Court ruled that the law violates the Georgia Constitution’s guarantee of a right to privacy.

"Sodomy laws are the linchpin in attacks against the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community," said Kerry Lobel, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "They are used to criminalize our behavior and are the basis for discrimination in employment, housing, health care and against families. We applaud the Court for its vote today and also salute the tireless work of Georgia activists who have helped change the climate in the state."

The Georgia law has been the basis of two U.S. Supreme Court cases. The first was the landmark Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986, when it found no constitutional right to privacy for same-gender conduct. And earlier this year, the Court refused to hear the case of attorney Robin Shahar, whose job offer from then-Attorney General Michael Bowers was rescinded after discovering she was planning a commitment ceremony with her partner. Bowers claimed her lesbian relationship violated the Georgia sodomy law, which he himself defended in Bowers v. Hardwick.

"We must be vigilant not only in the passage of civil rights laws, but also in the repeal of sodomy laws," continued Lobel. "Even though they are rarely enforced, they are frequently used as the basis for other forms of discrimination – in the workplace, in the schools, and with the custody of our children."

With the Georgia law now invalid, thirty-one states and the District of Columbia will have no laws forbidding same gender sexual relations. Of the nineteen states that will have sodomy laws in place, six state’s laws apply only to same-gender activity – Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Maryland. Thirteen other states have an opposite and same-gender sodomy law – Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota.

[ Return to Top]

3. A COMMENTARY by Paul Varnell


Early in May, Judge Jonathan Heher of the Johannesburg High Court struck down South Africa’s sodomy law on the grounds that it violated the nation’s new constitution barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Just a few months earlier Ecuador’s Supreme Court ruled that nation’s sodomy law unconstitutional. And Romania’s new prime minister recently promised to repeal his nation’s sodomy law so it could join the European Union.

In the civilized nations of the world there are few sodomy laws remaining. Mostly they linger in ignorant and savage nations of the third world, where religious faith inhibits rationality, provincialism is praised as patriotism, and fanaticism is proof of piety.

As South Africa’s judge Heher noted with unusual eloquence in his ruling, to penalize a gay or lesbian person "for the expression of his or her sexuality can only be defended from a standpoint which depends on the baneful influences of religious intolerance, ignorance, superstition, bigotry, fear of what is different from or alien to everyday experience and the millstone of history."

Among the developed nations of the world only the United States of America still retains sodomy laws in 20 of its 50 states.

Half of those states are in the heavily Baptist, former slave-owning Confederate South. If the Old South is no longer a "solid south" for racist Democrats, it is, at least, still solid in its legislated homophobia.

The other states are the western strip of Arizona, heavily Mormon Utah and Idaho; the traditionally Catholic states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maryland; Lutheran dominated Minnesota; and the conservative midwestern cluster of Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.

These sodomy laws are seldom enforced. They do not appear to impinge on the lives of most gays and do not seem worrisome to most gay-friendly legislators. That would help explain the remarkable anomaly that three states with gay non-discrimination laws still have sodomy statutes: Minnesota, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. And the only states to have reelected openly gay congressmen by large margins are both states with sodomy laws: Massachusetts and Arizona.

However, anti-gay politicians who, like pro-gay politicians, seem content with non-enforcement of sodomy laws nonetheless fight vigorously to retain them.

This is extremely odd because no one claims that the laws actually reduce the incidence of sodomy. In fact, in arguing before the Montana Supreme Court, the the state’s attorney general tried to make it an argument for retaining the sodomy law that no one had been arrested under it for decades.

But why then retain them?

When George W. Bush was running for governor of Texas he was asked whether he favored retention of Texas’ sodomy law (currently in legal limbo). He said, yes, he thought the state should keep the law, chiefly for its symbolic value.

A symbol of what? A symbol, I think, of social disapproval. A symbol that society regards gay sexuality as defective, inferior and distasteful, tolerates it only contingently, and reserves the theoretical right to prohibit gay sexual expression because it is something we have no natural right to do.

It is a symbol that not only our pleasures, but our deepest relational commitments are shallower and less deserving of respect than those of heterosexuals, and, in short, that we are simply inferior human beings, not to be accorded the full autonomy, dignity or esteem granted to other citizens.

It follows from this that sodomy laws not only express social disapproval and lesser regard for gays, but they also serve the conservative function of reinforcing existing social disapproval and giving it a stamp of legitimacy.

One has to wonder why some bright young reporter did not speak up to ask the young Bush, "Do you mean to suggest, sir, that in your view the superiority of heterosexuality is not sufficiently evident to the public without the support of such legal symbols?

"And, sir, a follow-up question if I may? If the social superiority of heterosexuality is not readily evident to people, then wherein does its non-evident superiority lie?"

But heterosexual reporters probably did not think to ask the question, and gay reporters likely were too far in the closet to feel comfortable asking it.

Bush’s statement, however, suggests he believes it is legitimate to devalue some people in order to bolster some other group of people. This is an odd claim to make in a country dedicated to either liberty or equality, though it may have a certain intelligibility in the Confederate South.

But apart from the devaluing function of sodomy laws, there are also substantive "collateral harms" that sodomy laws create.

They are used to label gays and lesbians as known law-violators and thus create evidence of unfit character for responsible positions such as custodial parent, foster parents, teachers and the like.

Sodomy laws create opportunities for police abuse. They can invite corruption (bribery, extortion), entrapment of gays, and selective law enforcement. It is important to remember, too, that the police absorb their attitudes toward gays from the way the law categorizes them. If the law states that gays are felons, the police will tend to treat known gays with less civility.

Rhode Island prosecutors acknowledged that the state’s sodomy law was useful because it enabled juries to convict on the lesser sodomy charge in cases of alleged sexual assault involving sodomy where consent was uncertain. But that seems to be an argument against sodomy laws. If oral or anal sex is not wrong, then why should people engaging in anal or (chiefly) oral sex where consent is uncertain be convicted of something while those engaging in vaginal sex with uncertain consent not be?

By devaluing gay lives, sodomy laws also subtly encourage and legitimize young male vigilantes who assault, rob or even kill gays. On this ground, one could argue that legislators who support sodomy law are accessories before the fact in gay-bashing incidents.

Despite their offensiveness, sodomy laws remain on the law books in many states because local gay activists have not made repealing them a priority. But for all these reasons, repeal should be a higher priority.

One of the best arguments for the marches on the 50 state capitols in 1999 is that they will provide an occasion to demand the right to sexual privacy and the repeal of state sodomy laws.

Sodomy laws anywhere in this nation are a offensive reminder to all of us that legislators think that our lives are defective and less worthy of respect.

Paul Varnell writes for Chicago’s Windy City Times and other gay newspapers. His e-mail address is

Media Coverage of the 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride

National Coverage
Equality Riders Face Renewed Homophobia

When They Came For The Homosexuals…

The Advocate
Soulforce bus defaced and activists given citations


The Merced Sun-Star
A test of faith: Two Merced residents will reach out to college students about being gay and Christian

The Graphic
Admin shuns GLEE, alienates club
Soulforce Equality Ride Schedule
Dean, students embrace many voices
Gay and lesbian rights group plans campus visit

Fresno Bee
Gay activists visit Fresno school
Gay activists to visit university

Gay rights group challenges Fresno university’s sex policy

Gay and lesbian rights group comes to Fresno Pacific University


Southern Voice
Traveling spirits – Gay Georgia students seek reconciliation, equality on Soulforce ride

Savannah Morning News
Hinesville native hits the road for gay rights


Group urges tolerance at Christian colleges (with 3:27 minute video)

The Idaho Press Tribune
Bus tour targets NNU policy

The Idaho Statesman
NNU allows gay-rights activist group on campus
NNU students welcome Soulforce gay-rights activists to campus

Channel 3 – KIDK
8 Arrested During Soulforce Visit to BYU-Idaho
Rexburg Prepares for Gay Activist Group
Gay Group to Visit BYU-Idaho


Eight Members of Soulforce Arrested At BYU-Idaho
Soulforce Visits BYU-Idaho
Soulforce Visits Rexburg, BYU-I Chooses Arrests Over of Dialog


VSJV Fox 28
Students Protest at Notre Dame

The Observer
Soulforce kicks off tour at ND

Soulforce Deserves Fair Treatment


Arrest at Notre Dame as Equality Ride pays visit



KTIV News Channel 4 (NBC)
Gay Group Harassed On Visit To Dordt College

Sioux City Journal
Gay, lesbian group harassed in Sioux Center

Globe Gazette
Soulforce riders get a rude welcome in Sioux Center

Radio Iowa
Dordt College issues statement of regret over incident involving gays

The Des Moines Register
Dordt officials apologize to harassed gay activists
Activists report vandalism, harassment at Iowa college


Camp KC

2007 Equality Ride

A Voice From the Equality Ride



Protesters Arrested at the University of the Cumberlands

WTVQ Action News 36
Equality Ride Visit to the University of the Cumberlands

Lexington Herald-Leader
3 are arrested at gay-right’s group event; Cumberlands one of 32 stops

Camp KC (scroll to bottom)

Equality Riders Arrested at Baptist Seminary


EDGE Boston
National Tour of Christian Colleges Faces Harassment in the Heartland


Between the Lines, Michigan’s Weekly News for Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders and Friends (issue 1510, print date 03/08/2007)
Arrest at Notre Dame as Equality Ride pays visit

The Grand Rapids Press
Gay-rights group targets two GR colleges


Pulse of the Twin Cities
Soulforce does its 2nd Equality Ride for civil rights

KUWS 91.3 FM
Superior man takes part in national crusade for gay rights

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Gay-rights riders head for conservative colleges
(scroll down to the last article on the page)


The Stranger
Soulforce’s Gay "Freedom Riders" Being Arrested, Prosecuted, Sent to Prison in Mississippi


Springfield News-Leader
2 Soulforce members arrested
Gay-rights group plans Monday visit to CBC


The Billings Gazette
Pro-gay activists to hold vigil
Activists address sexuality, religion



The Portland Mercury
Spreading the Word

The Oregonian
National gay and lesbian group targets George Fox University

Christian News Northwest
‘Equality Ride’ to visit George Fox April 5 over stance on gays

New York

New York Blade
Dordt College officials apologize to harassed gay activists

North Dakota

3 arrests in demonstration at Ellendale college


The Beacon Journal
Bus trip urges equality: North Canton student to visit schools, talk about treatment of gays


The Tecumseh Countrywide News
Equality Ride Returning To Shawnee

The Daily O’Collegian
SODA officer to advocate equality within Christian colleges
Soulforce should continue its activism


Deseret News
Gay-rights tour to stop at 2 Y. sites
Y. cites 2 gay-rights activists
Y. urged to clarify its policy on gays
Soulforce is asked to stay off LDS land
Gay activists to stage ‘Jericho’ walk at BYU

BYU News Net
Soulforce Stages Demonstration Near Campus
Students Mistaken For Soulforce Activists
Ignore Soulforce
Editorial: "Means to an End"
Soul Neighbors
Soulforce Plans to Return to BYU
(Various editorials)
Editorial: Less Forceful

Daily Herald

Beehives and Buffalo Chips 331
Soulforce quietly marches for gay rights
Soulforce prepares for its demonstrations at BYU
Two cited during Soulforce march
Ignore Soulforce’s immature tactics
LDS Church tells gay rights group to keep off property

Channel 2 – KUTV
BYU Discriminates Against Gay People, Group Says

Salt Lake Tribune
Gay rights advocates arrested at BYU
Gay-rights group plans to reach out to BYU students
Gay-rights duo arrested at BYU


The Stranger
UPDATE: Soul Force at SPU

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Gays and lesbians bring their own message of faith to SPU
Gay rights tour stops at Seattle Pacific University


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Tour for gay rights stops at college: Wisconsin Lutheran denies campus access

WITI-TV, Wauwatosa

READ IT: Protestors Target Wisconsin Lutheran College


Google logo

Google News on the Soulforce Equality Ride
Follow the latest media coverage of the Soulforce Equality Ride by searching Google News.

Media Coverage of the Right to Serve Campaign

National Coverage:

AP article from Friday August 11, 2006, published in over 90 newspapers:
Gays Protest Military Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy

The New York Times:
Gay Groups Renew Drive Against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

ABC News:
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Ripe for Change?

Washington Post:
Testing the Policy on Gays

The Detroit New (Syndicated Column by Deb Price):
Volunteer-Hungry Military Turns Down Recruits

Army Times:
Gay Activists Denied Enlistment

Logo TV (have done four stories and continue to cover the campaign):
Logo Online

WUNC Radio and NPR:
Greensboro Coverage, MP3 File (Right Click, Save Target As

Paula Zahn NOW (CNN, TV Transcript):
Interview with Jacob Reitan, Rhonda Davis, and Alex Douglas-Barrera

MTV Overdrive:
Gays Fight for the Right to Serve

Austin, TX:

Openly Gay Austinine Challenges Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Rule

KEYE 42 (CBS, TV):
Lesbian Tries to Enlist in Army

Charlottesville, VA:

The Daily Progress:
Gay students Attempt to Join Military as Policy Protest
Gays Thwarted in Third Enlistment Attempt

The Cavalier Daily:
Students Protest Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

WCAV 19 (CBS, TV):
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Video

WVIR 29 (NBC, TV):
Gay Students Protest at Armed Forces Recruiting Station

WVIR 29 (NBC, TV):
Gay Rights Protest Ends in Arrest

WVAW 16 (ABC, TV):

Chicago, IL:

WGN 9 (CW, TV):
Gay Adults Attempt to Enlist

Chicago Sun-Times:
NU Trio Challenge Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Gay Students Turned Away by Army Recruiter

Daily Southtown:
Army Tells Gays, ‘No Way’

Windy City Times:
Commentary by Enlistee Rob Fojtik

Windy City Times:
Protesting Youths Led Away in Hand Cuffs

Chicago Recruiter Is Lastest to Reject Soulforce Activist

Conway, AR:

Eight Protestors Arrested in Conway Video

Conway Women Challenge Military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

KTHV 11 (CBS, TV):
More Than Half A Dozen Arrested In Conway Video

KUAR, National Public Radio:
Eight Arrests Reported at Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Protest

Arkansas Times:
Busted in Conway

The Log Cabin Democrat:
Read More…

The Pat Lynch Show, Supertalk Radio Network:
Downloadable MP3 Recording

Greensboro, NC:

Students Arrested at Military Recruitment Center
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Challenged by Students

Gay Rights Activists Arrested At Army Recruitment Center European News Organization
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Students Prevented from Enlisting

YES! Weekly:
Right to Serve Campaign Brings Sit-ins Back to Greensboro

Los Angeles, CA:

Fighting Chance

Madison, WI:

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

WISCTV (Online Broadcasting):
Openly Gay Students Challenge Military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy

Wisconsin State Journal:
Recruits Weren’t Asked, But They Told

The Badger Herald
Police Arrest Gay Rights Activists at Sit-in

Minneapolis, MN:

Gay Activists Apply To Serve In MN National Guard

KARE 11 (NBC, TV):
Gay trio tries to enlist in Minnesota Guard

St. Paul Pioneer Press:
Activist Has Fighting Spirit

Advocate Post (includes rationale for the action):
Why I tried to join the National Guard

New York City, NY:

Metro News:
Protest’s on, But Nobody’s Home

Young Gay Activists Bring Nationwide Campaign to Times Square

Norman, OK:

The Norman Transcript:
Taking a Seat and Taking a Stand Against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Oklahoman and News 9

The HUB at University of Oklahoma:
Nichole Rawls Takes a Stand over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy

Openly gay woman tries to enlist in Army as protest of policy

Oklahoma City, OK:

News 9:
Video Coverage of the Right to Serve Campaign in Oklahoma City

An Oklahoman, Who Is Gay, Wants To Enlist In The Military

Video Coverage of the Right to Serve Campaign in Oklahoma City

The Oklahoman:
Openly gay recruit turned away

The Advocate:
Right to Serve takes its military protest to Oklahoma

Oklahoma State University – The Daily O’Collegian:
Sexual Orientation Diversity Association (SODA) Leader Can’t Enlist

Tulsa World:
Enlistee Turned Away After Telling Army Recruiter He’s Gay

Hard News Online:
Openly gay recruit turned away from the U.S. Army

The Norman Transcript:
Religious Group Challenges Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy

Phoenix, AZ:

The Arizona Republic:
Gays Plan to Challenge Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Tuscon Citizen:
Lights Out on Lesbian’s Efforts to Join the Coast Guard
Military Rejects Gay’s Enlistment Try

Philadelphia, PA:

Philadelphia Inquirer:
Walk-in test confirms military’s gay ban

KYW 3 (CBS, TV):
Openly Gay Teens Denied Entry Into US Army

The Advocate:
Sitting Firm Against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Richmond, VA:

Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Group’s protest of military policy ends in three arrests

Richmond Talks Back:
Protesting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Shreveport, LA:

Shreveport Times:
Gay Rights Group Pushes to Have Military Policy Overturned

Shreveport Times:
Gay Rights Group Tries Enlistment Again

Gay Activists Arrested During Sit-In At Marine Recruiting Station

Three In Custody After Protest of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Shreveport Times:
Rachel Powell: Challenge to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Protest in Three Cities Over Military’s Gay Ban

Washington, D.C.:

Diamondback Online:
Pride and Prejudice

The Daily Colonial:
Activists Challenge Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

The MetroWeekly:
Closed Door for Navy Hopefuls

The George Washington University Hatchet:
Lesbians Locked Out from Enlisting at D.C. Naval Recruitment Center

The American University Eagle:
Students Protest Military Policy Toward Gays

The Howard University Hilltop:
Gay Enlistee Hopefuls Ignored by Recruiters

The Washington Blade:
Navy Closes Doors to Gay Enlistees

Google logo

Google News on the Right to Serve Campaign
Follow the latest media coverage of the Right to Serve Campaign by searching Google News.