Here's a bunch of news, notes, and commentary related to LGBT issues (I'm trying to close browser windows again). This set is focused primarily on things other than same-sex marriage; I pulled most of the marriage stuff out into a separate post (to follow) in an attempt to keep each of the entries a manageable size.
Good news from India:
An Indian court has ruled that homosexual intercourse between consenting adults is not a criminal act, overturning a federal law dating from the colonial era.
—BBC News article, 2 July 2009
(To which a student quoted in the article says: "There is no homosexuality in India, it's part of Western culture." Sigh.)
Speaking of homosexuality in India, here's an interesting article from the Times of India from early May (before the abovementioned ruling): "Gay couples 'marry' with parents' approval."
A same-sex couple in a New York high school has been voted best couple by their high school. I found that totally heartwarming—another sign of just how far we've come in the last couple decades. (And this is in the district of Ruben Diaz, Sr, one of the most ardent and outspoken foes of same-sex marriage in the NY state senate.)
A recent Gallup poll found that 58% of self-identified conservatives now favor allowing openly gay and lesbian people to serve in the military, up from 46% in 2004. A strong majority of every category of people surveyed agrees. (Including 86% of liberals, but that's no surprise.) Among those who attend church weekly, 60% are in favor of allowing openly gay or lesbian service members.
Gallup does note that "the Gallup Poll data do not break out the attitudes of current members of the military or provide a read on the views of current military leadership." And those are of course important things to take into account. But really, if three-fifths of even the conservative or churchgoing public is opposed to Don't Ask, Don't Tell, doesn't that suggest that maybe it's time for a change? Are you listening, President Obama?
Lornet Turnbull in the Seattle Times, late June of 2009: "Gay rights mean different things to different generations of community."
I'm not sure whether I'm posting this too late to do any good, but: if you live in the state of Washington, you may be interested in the Decline to Sign Referendum 71 movement.
Background: The people opposed to Washington's recent expansion of Domestic Partnership rights (Washington now has in-all-but-name DPs, as of May 2009) are trying to collect 120,500 voter signatures by July 25 to qualify their measure, Referendum 71, for this November's ballot. The referendum will put the question to voters of whether those icky gay people should be allowed to have rights like normal people. Feh.
But at least when people are opposed to Domestic Partnerships, they can't fall back on excuses about tradition and such; their only real argument is explicitly homophobic. So I'm hoping the referendum doesn't make the ballot, but if it does, I'm hoping the people of Washington will vote for equal rights.