History is happening all the time, but most of it is too boring to notice. Even if you tweet it, the amazing dinner you made/ate/saw someone else eat last night will be remembered by precisely no one. With so much inconsequence going on around us, it can sometimes come as a bit of a shock to realize that capital-H History is happening in the here and now. For an example, look no further than the case for LGBT equality.
As of this writing, President Barack Obama is poised to sign an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (similar to, but not as far-reaching as, ordinances passed in more than half a dozen Idaho cities). According to some estimates, the measure could grant protection to upwards of 14 million people. Two openly LGBT federal judges--Darrin Gayles, in Florida, and Staci Yandle, of Illinois--were confirmed to the bench this year, and, in case you haven't been paying attention, there are 74 lawsuits aiming to overturn same-sex marriage bans in 32 states, including Idaho.
That's what is called the "tide the history," whether anti-gay culture warriors like it or not; and while bigotry has often taken solace in the glacial pace of social change, LGBT equality is quickly approaching its tipping point.
This week Boiseans celebrate Pride Fest on Saturday, June 21, and Boise Weekly has devoted a good portion of the coverage in this edition to LGBT-related stories. First, on Page 8, News Editor George Prentice checks in with Madelynn Taylor--the 74-year-old Navy veteran who is still waiting for the right to be buried next to her wife in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. On Page 11, staff writer Jessica Murri takes an in-depth look at the economic and legal ramifications of marriage equality in Idaho. On Page 31, Prentice profiles the documentary film The Camouflage Closet, which sheds light on the struggles faced by gay, lesbian and transgender service members.
This time last year, BW freelance writer Carissa Wolf wrote a piece on the patchwork of laws governing the lives of LGBT people; in 2012, Wolf explored hate crimes against members of the LGBT community, and, in 2011, I contributed a piece comparing the struggle for LGBT equality to the civil rights movement of the 20th century. Here's hoping that in 2015, we get to write the story: "Marriage Equality: One Year Later."