TV & Radio
Young gay execs look to break "pink ceiling"
By Ben Klayman and Kim Dixon
Mon May 7, 3:07 PM ET
Corporate boardrooms are slowly becoming a somewhat friendlier place for gay executives, but as John Browne's sudden exit from the top job at oil major BP Plc showed when his sexuality became public fodder, there are still challenges to overcome.
Browne stepped down last week when a UK court lifted an injunction preventing a newspaper group from publishing details about his private life. He was scheduled to retire in July, but stepped aside to "avoid unnecessary embarrassment and distraction to the company," adding he had always regarded his sexuality as a private matter.
"There still is a pink ceiling for openly gay executives," said Malcolm Lazin, executive director of Equality Forum, a group that promotes civil rights for gays.
"We are clearly going through a transitional moment, as the black civil rights movement and women's civil right movement went through," he added.
Browne felt the need to keep his sexuality private despite his high profile position, something that likely led to his problems.
"By not being out and being open, you do create a certain amount of questioning around you. Often times it creates a bit of mystery around an individual," said Eric Bloem, an official with the Human Rights Campaign, another gay civil rights group.
And Browne is not alone, according to Kirk Snyder, a lecturer at the University of Southern California's business school.
"Talking with executives and people in the position to become CEO, I have found that there are at least five closeted CEOs in the Fortune 500," said Snyder, author of the book, "The G Quotient: Why Gay Executives Are Excelling As Leaders." He declined to name the executives.
"It's a personal issue," he added. "There are a lot of psychological elements and economical elements."
While there are no known gay CEOs among large companies, many corporate observers said the next generation of gay executives are not willing to hide that part of their lives.
OUT IN THE OPEN
"What you are seeing, is the next generation is unwilling to live in the closet," Lazin said. "Those capable young executives will choose only to go to these places where they believe meritocracy prevails."
Throw in nondiscrimination policies and same-sex health care benefits by a growing number of U.S. companies, and the environment is changing.
The U.S. House recently introduced legislation making it illegal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation, something that is legal in 33 states.
On Friday, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson apologized for saying at the Republican presidential debate that private employers should be allowed to fire gay employees because of their sexual preference. He later told a morning television show he misinterpreted the question and discrimination was not acceptable.
The American Family Association, which opposes companies giving gays equal employment protection and benefits, cares more where corporate money is spent.
"Our thing is not with the internal hiring practices with corporations," AFA President Donald Wildmon said. "We would have no way of knowing nor would we really care how many gays or homosexuals this company hired. What we care about is using (company) profits to further the political and social agenda of the movement."
However, companies realize that to attract the best talent, they must provide a welcome atmosphere, executive recruiters said.
"I am not seeing any kind of a shakedown at the top saying, 'We want only straight males or females running our company.' It is unheard of," said Seth Harris, executive vice president with Chicago-based Cook Associates. "It's about the success based on past merits and the ability to get the job done."
Nevertheless, Lazin wonders whether Browne would have resigned if he had had a liaison with a woman.
"I do think there is still a double standard there," he said. "It reflects an inequality and a moment in time when society is becoming comfortable around same-sex relationships but is not quite there yet."
Hodge's Parrot 「ガラスの天井」と「ピンクの高原」
2007年 05月 11日 02:49:49
歓声の中 法王訪問、ゲイと中絶賛成派のカトリック女性らからは抗議も - ブラジル
【サンパウロ/ブラジル 11日 AFP】ブラジル各地の主要12都市で、同性愛者と妊娠中絶に賛成するカトリック信者の女性らによる抗議運動が展開されている。ローマ法王ベネディクト16世（Benedict XVI）の訪問を、「バチカンがブラジルの社会政策を左右しようとしているものだ」と強く非難している。
9日から法王が滞在しているサンパウロ（Sao Paulo）中心部のサン・ベント（Sao Bento）修道院にほど近い、セー大聖堂（Cathedral Se）の前では、女性たちが掲げた「カトリック信者だってセックスの喜びを知っている。コンドームの使用、性の多様性を認め、中絶する女性を非難するな。教会の“序列”はいつ変わるのだ？」と書かれたポスターが、道行く人の目を引いていた。
「選択する権利のためのカトリック組織（Catholic Organization for the Right to Choose）」のドゥルス・ザビエル（Dulce Xavier）氏はAFPの取材に対し、「われわれは法王に、リプロダクティブ・ヘルス（性と生殖に関する健康）と教会における女性の役割について、メッセージを送りたいのだ」と述べた。
「ゲイ、レズビアン、両性愛者、服装倒錯者および性転換者でつくるブラジル人協会（Brazilian Association of Gays，Lesbians，Bisexuals，Transvestites and Transsexuals、ABGLT）」は9日、ブラジルが「事実上の非宗教国」となることを求める公開書簡を発表した。
9日夜、サンパウロ中心部で行われた同性愛者らによる抗議運動では、「主イエスはゲイを愛したもう（Jesus Loves Gays）」と書かれたポスターが掲げられた。
写真は、ノバ・イグアス（Nova Iguacu）で10日、同性愛を否定するカトリックの教義に抗議して法王の写真を焼くリオデジャネイロ・ゲイ・コミュニティーのメンバー。(c)AFP/RENZO GOSTOLI/AUSTRAL FOTO
Blair's resignation speech in full
UK Gay News
Gender Recognition Act
Civil Partnership Act
米軍準機関紙：「同性愛」で特集記事 トラブルや除隊処分など掲載 ／神奈川
Stars and Stripes
Sarkozy élu : et maintenant ? ... (E-llico.com 2007/05/07)
Le prochain président de la République, Nicolas Sarkozy, est contre le mariage et l'adoption pour les homosexuels. Il a promis une union civile rejetée par la quasi-totalité des organisations LGBT. Le combat pour l'égalité des droits reste ouvert.
Avec l'élection de Nicolas Sarkozy, les homosexuels français se voient privés de l'égalité des droits qu'ils revendiquent et que Ségolène Royal leur avait promis. L'ouverture du mariage et de l'adoption aux homosexuels ne verra pas le jour pendant les cinq années qui viennent puisque le nouveau président y est hostile (il aura déjà beaucoup à faire pour convaincre sa majorité d'adopter son projet d'union civile).
C'est profondément dommageable pour la communauté LGBT. La revendication reste sur la table avec d'autant plus de validité qu'elle va dans le sens de l'histoire. La France va prendre davantage de retard à se mettre au niveau des meilleures démocraties (Espagne, Canada...), mais l'accès au mariage républicain et à l'adoption doivent rester l'objectif à atteindre, quoi qu'il en soit parce qu'il s'agit de la seule réponse qui consacre l'égalité réelle des homosexuels avec tous les citoyens.
Pourtant se pose déjà la question de l'attitude des organisations LGBT face au nouveau pouvoir. Que faire en effet ? Une forme de "grève", de résistance frontale à la nouvelle majorité? Ou bien un rôle de pression pour tenter de peser sur les décisions qui nous concernent ?
La question est difficile. Faudra-t-il notamment entrer dans un dialogue avec le gouvernement et les parlementaires UMP quand le chantier de l'union civile se présentera ?
On imagine que la réponse ne fera pas l'unanimité des associations homos. Certaines estimeront sans doute que l'union civile présente une amélioration par rapport à l'actuel PaCS et qu'il convient de tenter de lui donner un maximum de substance pour ne pas renvoyer tout progrès à une date incertaine. D'autres préfèreront ne pas transiger avec l'exigence d'égalité, par principe et aussi pour pas prendre le risque d'hypothéquer pour longtemps l'accès au mariage et à l'adoption.
La prochaine Gay Pride devrait donner une première idée des positions en présence.
En tout état de cause, c'est un chemin difficile qui s'ouvre pour les défenseurs des droits LGBT pour les années à venir.
Lire notre dossier "Le double jeu de Sarkozy".
Voir notre "Edition spéciale : Présidentielle 2007".
Mis en ligne le 07/05/07
Gay-Positive Royal Loses Bid For French Presidency
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: May 7, 2007 - 9:00 am ET
(Paris) France's right of center UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy won France's presidential election on Sunday, beating Socialist Segolene Royal by wide margin.
The victory ensures the 12 year reign of the conservative party will continue, dashing hopes by Frances' gay community of any chance for the foreseeable future for same-sex marriage.
Royal had pledged that if she were elected president she would introduce a gay marriage bill.
"Opening up marriage to same-sex couples is needed in the name of equality, visibility and respect," Royal told gay publication Tetu last year.
Royal also told the publication that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt.
UMP's Sarkozy opposes both gay marriage and adoption.
The ruling UMP only begrudgingly agreed several years ago to grant limited rights to gay and lesbian couples.
In 2004 the mayor of a small community in southwestern France performed France's first gay marriage but it was quickly annulled by the government in Paris.
A public opinion poll released last year shows that about 60 percent of the population favors same-sex marriage.
The election pitted the far right against the far left and even though that would have appeared to offer a clear choice of on or the other, for many French voters it only added to the uncertainty.
Leading up to the election public opinion polls found voters preferred Royal as a person but Sarkozy as a leader.
The new conservative president will have his work cut out for him. A racial divide is widening in France and unemployment is at near record highs.
毎日新聞 2007年5月3日 22時08分 （最終更新時間 5月4日 0時42分）
Ore. lawmakers OK domestic partnerships By BRAD CAIN, Associated Press Writer
Wed May 2, 8:36 PM ET
A bill giving Oregon's gay and lesbian couples the benefits of marriage through domestic partnerships won final legislative approval Wednesday.
The Senate endorsed the measure 21-9, sending it to Gov. Ted Kulongoski. The governor is a gay-rights supporter who says he will sign that bill along with another one passed earlier to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The domestic partnership bill would enable same-sex couples to enter into contractual relationships that grant them the same benefits that state law offers to married couples.
The measure won unanimous endorsement from the Senate's majority Democrats, with two Republicans joining them.
When Kulongoski signs the measure, Oregon will join Vermont, Connecticut, California, New Jersey, Maine and Washington state in offering civil unions or domestic partnerships to same-sex couples.
Massachusetts allows gay couples to marry. The New Hampshire Legislature last week approved a civil unions measure that's expected to be signed into law soon, and Hawaii extends certain spousal rights to same-sex couples, along with cohabiting heterosexual pairs.
Oregon's domestic partnerships measure covers benefits relating to inheritance rights, child-rearing and custody, joint tax filings, joint health, auto and homeowners insurance policies, visitation rights at hospitals and others.
It does not affect federal benefits for married couples including Social Security and joint filing of federal tax returns.
Opponents have called domestic partnerships "marriage by another name," and said the bill violates the will of voters who endorsed a constitutional ban on gay marriage in 2004.
Backers said the law will provide dignity and protection for thousands of same-sex couples in Oregon who are in committed relationships not currently recognized by the state.
After the vote, about 60 jubilant gay rights supporters gathered in a nearby room, where they toasted their victory with sparkling cider. Some shed tears.
"The fact of the matter is, the state now recognizes us," said Kevin Bailey-Gilliam, who came to the Capitol with his partner, Alex, for Wednesday's vote.
The New York Times
April 30, 2007
A Push to Legalize Gay Marriage (5 Letters)
To the Editor:
Re “Mr. Spitzer and Gay Marriage” (editorial, April 24):
Sincere thanks to Gov. Eliot Spitzer for wanting to help make marriage a reality for New York State’s gay and lesbian couples.
My partner, David, and I have been married in all but name for more than 13 years. We are often asked why we haven’t had a commitment ceremony, or even been married in Canada.
We will get married when it is legal in New York State. Until that time comes, something less than marriage doesn’t seem, to us, a real reason to celebrate.
Paul D. Poux
New York, April 24, 2007
To the Editor:
Thank you for the sensitive and sensible editorial supporting Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s intentions for legislating gay marriage in New York.
But where is the leadership on a national level? Perhaps it’s too much to expect from a presidential candidate, but there must be some people “brave” enough to assert themselves for such a sensible cause — Bill Clinton or Al Gore, perhaps?
It is painful to realize that there are so many who chose to ignore the gays and lesbians left “sitting at the back of the bus.”
Venice, Calif., April 24, 2007
To the Editor:
I applaud your editorial backing Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s intention to introduce a bill legalizing same-sex marriages. While Mr. Spitzer will certainly face “outspoken opponents” among religious organizations, not all faith groups oppose marriage equality.
Unitarian Universalists have advocated for legal marriage rights for same-sex couples since 1996. And while we acknowledge the right of other religions to refuse to perform wedding ceremonies for any reason, Unitarian Universalist ministers have joyfully officiated at same-sex religious unions for several decades.
In my home state, Massachusetts, marriage equality has been the law for nearly three years. We have seen how quickly the extraordinary becomes ordinary.
The sun still rises and sets every day, but now it shines on several thousand more couples whose commitments to one another are legally recognized by the state.
If the institution of marriage is good for couples, good for families, and good for society, then we all benefit when this institution is free from discrimination.
Marriage is a civil right.
(Rev.) William G. Sinkford
Boston, April 24, 2007
The writer is president, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
To the Editor:
You’re worried that religious groups might “dictate who can and who cannot be married by the state” (editorial, April 24)?
Consider this: my Christian faith profoundly informs the way I vote. If I believe that a legislative proposal threatens the common good, I will vote against it and encourage others to do the same.
That’s not dictatorial. That’s democracy.
(Rev.) James D. Miller
Tulsa, Okla., April 25, 2007
The writer is pastor of the First Presbyterian Church.
To the Editor:
In response to your editorial, I would like to point out that not all religious groups will oppose a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
My congregation is the largest gay and lesbian synagogue in the world, and we wholeheartedly support Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s move to embrace justice for all by legalizing same-sex marriage. As a rabbi who has officiated at dozens of same-sex marriages in New York City, I would like to see these unions recognized by the state.
I look forward to a day when all religious groups recognize that whether gay, lesbian, transgender or straight, we are all created in God’s image.
New York, April 24, 2007
The writer is senior rabbi, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah.
April 24, 2007
Mr. Spitzer and Gay Marriage
The news that Gov. Eliot Spitzer will soon introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage — what he calls “a simple moral imperative” — is welcome and could give new national momentum to this important cause. Mr. Spitzer would be the first governor in the nation to introduce a gay marriage bill. But if he is going to make a real difference, rather than simply checking off a box to fulfill a campaign promise, he will have to fight for the law vigorously.
Even in a progressive state like New York, this will be a steep political climb. So far, only Massachusetts has enacted a gay marriage law — after its highest court held that gay couples had a right under the State Constitution — and while there is a similar bill working its way through the Connecticut legislature, its prospects are uncertain. Civil unions or domestic partnerships involving same-sex couples are now recognized by a small but growing number of states, including Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, California, Hawaii and Maine. It is an indication of how big a challenge Mr. Spitzer faces that New York is not, and hasn’t come close to being, on this list.
Mr. Spitzer is right to be fighting for gay marriage. Civil unions and domestic partnerships are an important recognition of gay relationships by a state. But they still represent separate and unequal treatment. One federal study identified more than 1,100 rights or benefits that are accorded only to the legally married. That means that even in states recognizing civil unions and domestic partnerships, gay couples often have to use legal contortions to protect their families in ways that married couples take for granted. Gay couples may also be discriminated against when it comes to taxes and pension benefits.
The next step in building momentum for gay marriage in New York will be to get the State Assembly, which has a Democratic majority, on board. Speaker Sheldon Silver has said he will not take a stand until he talks with his fellow Democrats. But most of those Democrats have already publicly expressed support for gay marriage, so Mr. Silver has no excuse to delay. He should make it clear that he will join Governor Spitzer and press for the legislation’s swift passage.
The biggest stumbling block is likely to be, as it always is for gay rights measures in New York, the State Senate, which is controlled by Republicans. The majority leader, Joseph Bruno, has made it clear that he is against same-sex marriage, but he is also a pragmatist whose views on these issues have evolved and become more humane over the years.
Religious groups, particularly the Catholic Church, are likely to be the bill’s most outspoken opponents. It should be clear that these religious institutions have the right to refuse to marry anyone within their own religious houses. But they should not be allowed to dictate who can and cannot be married by the state.
Mr. Spitzer did not make gay marriage a priority in his first 100 days in office, and he did not mention it in his State of the State address or, more recently, when he laid out his agenda for the remainder of the legislative session. That may simply have been a pragmatic assessment that the bill would not pass right away.
Now that he is ready to move, we are eager to hear him speak out more on this issue. There will be nothing easy about championing this simple moral imperative. But it is a fight well worth the governor’s full efforts.
April 23, 2007
Spitzer Plans to Introduce Gay Marriage Bill
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
Gov. Eliot Spitzer will introduce a bill in the coming weeks to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, his spokeswoman said Friday, a move that would propel New York to the forefront of one of the most contentious issues in politics.
Though he has long voiced support for same-sex marriage and promised during his campaign last year to introduce legislation to legalize it, Mr. Spitzer did not mention the issue in his State of the State speech in January or in remarks a week ago outlining his priorities for the remainder of the legislative session, which ends June 21.
But the spokeswoman, Christine Anderson, said that Mr. Spitzer would not back away from his campaign pledge.
“The governor made a commitment to advance a program bill, and he will fulfill that commitment during this legislative session,” Ms. Anderson said, using the term that refers to legislation introduced directly by the governor rather than through a state agency or by the Legislature.
Several states allow some form of civil unions for same-sex couples, including Connecticut, where lawmakers are debating a measure that would legalize marriage for lesbians and gay men. Massachusetts is the only state where same-sex marriage is legal.
Any legislation to make New York the second such state would face a steep climb in Albany, a fact that Mr. Spitzer has acknowledged. Explaining why he did not include the gay-marriage bill among his post-budget legislative priorities, Mr. Spitzer said last week that he “was listing bills that I think we can and should get passed by the Legislature in the next few weeks. And so I am focusing now on politics as the art of the possible.
“I think most who are close to the issue would agree with me that it’s not likely to be passed in the next nine and a half weeks,” Mr. Spitzer added.
Legislation to allow same-sex marriage has never made it to a floor vote in either the Assembly, which has a Democratic majority, or the Republican-controlled State Senate. Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker, has declined to take a stand on the issue. Joseph L. Bruno, the Senate majority leader, has supported legislation to outlaw hate crimes and workplace discrimination against gays, but he remains opposed to same-sex marriage.
Even among lawmakers who say they favor the legislation, there is some division over the best strategy to get it passed. Two legislators from Manhattan, State Senator Thomas K. Duane and Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, both Democrats, have tried for several years to shepherd a gay-marriage bill through the Legislature and are trying again this year. That bill has at least 14 sponsors in the Senate and 42 in the Assembly.
If Mr. Spitzer does propose a bill, it is unclear how much muscle he will be willing — or able — to put behind it. The priorities he has outlined — such as overhauling the state’s campaign finance laws and introducing a constitutional amendment to require nonpartisan legislative redistricting — already pose a considerable challenge. That would leave Mr. Spitzer with little political bandwidth that would allow him to build support for another controversial bill.
The governor has also had few opportunities to build bridges to constituencies that present the strongest grass-roots opposition to gay marriage, such as Roman Catholic Church officials and other religious leaders. Church leaders already oppose Mr. Spitzer’s support of embryonic stem cell research, and an initiative that might have softened the blow of gay marriage — a tax credit for parents who send children to religious or other private schools — did not make it into the budget this year.
Gay-rights groups are scheduled to convene in Albany early next month for a day of lobbying, and several lawmakers and same-sex marriage advocates said they hoped that Mr. Spitzer would introduce his proposal before then.
“I don’t think the governor has dropped the ball on this,” said Alan Van Capelle, executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, a gay-rights group. “We’ve been talking with the governor’s people about this. At every moment they have brainstormed with us in some very creative ways about how to accomplish this agenda.”
Mr. Van Capelle said he shared Mr. Spitzer’s assessment that the measure was unlikely to pass both chambers of the Legislature this year, but he emphasized that the governor’s proposal would give it strategic and symbolic weight.
Gary Parker, the founder of Greater Voices, a coalition of gay-oriented political clubs in New York City, said the fact that every statewide elected official now supports gay marriage had heartened advocates.
“During the Pataki administration, there was a lot of frustration,” Mr. Parker said. “We felt extremely stagnant and stifled. Now there is movement. And the fact that there is discussion is progress.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 27, 2007
PROPOSED LEGISLATION WOULD CREATE CIVIL MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor David Paterson today submitted legislation to create civil marriage equality for all New Yorkers. This historic legislation would establish equal responsibilities, recognition, benefits and protections for all married couples. The bill would additionally stipulate that no clergy member or religious institution should be compelled to perform any same-sex marriage ceremony.
Under current law, partners unable to enter into a civil marriage -- and their children -- lack legal protections taken for granted by married couples. In such areas as property ownership, inheritance, health care, hospital visitation, taxation, insurance coverage, child custody and pension benefits, married couples receive important safeguards against the loss or injury of a spouse, and crucial insurance against legal intrusion into marital privacy.
“This legislation would create equal legal protection and responsibilities for all individuals who seek to marry or have their marriage protected in the State of New York,” said Governor Spitzer. “Strong, stable families are the cornerstones of our society. The responsibilities inherent in the institution of marriage benefit those individuals and society as a whole.”
“This bill guarantees that the inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness will be protected equally for all individuals in the State of New York,” said Lieutenant Governor David Paterson. “This is an important step in the fight for civil rights for all people.”
The legislation will include the following provisions:
*A marriage that is otherwise valid under the law will be valid regardless of the sex of the individuals; Government treatment, legal status, and all rights, benefits, privileges, protections or responsibilities relating to marriage will be equal for all individual parties who enter into marriage regardless of the sex of their partner;
Bishop wants to be first in line for N.H. civil union
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The Rev. V. Gene Robinson became the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop. Now, he and his partner want to be among the first gay couples in New Hampshire to officially unite under a soon-to-be-signed civil unions law.
New Hampshire is set to become the nation's fourth state to offer civil unions for gay couples after legislation approved by the state Senate on Thursday was sent to Gov. John Lynch, who has said he would sign it.
USA TODAY ON POLITICS: Giuliani: N.H. law 'goes too far'
"I think this moves us one step closer to the American promise to all its citizens of equality under the law," Robinson told The Associated Press. "My partner and I look forward to taking full advantage of the new law."
Robinson, 59, was elected as Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire four years ago, a move that made him a household name but also divided the Anglican community. Earlier this year, Anglican leaders demanded the U.S. denomination step back from its support of gays or risk losing its full membership in the world Anglican fellowship.
Robinson said his long journey began as a boy in Kentucky when he found he was not attracted to women. As an adult, he spent two years in therapy seeking a "cure" for his homosexual urges.
He told his girlfriend, Isabella, about his struggles, but they married anyway in 1972, moved to rural New Hampshire and had two daughters. Robinson eventually realized he would not change and the two divorced.
"The hardest thing is coming out to yourself. You've internalized the same homophobia as the rest of the culture," he said in an interview four years ago.
Soon after the divorce, Robinson met Mark Andrew, who was working for the Peace Corps in Washington. A year and a half later, the two settled in Weare, where Andrew began accompanying Robinson to his daughters' after-school activities.
The two have been together for 18 years now, and Robinson has said they would marry if they could. Andrew, 53, is a state health care administrator.
To many, Robinson has become a symbol of progress. He was welcomed two years ago at New York's gay pride parade by marchers and spectators who reached out to touch his hand, cheered, cried and thanked him.
Robinson praised New Hampshire's move toward civil unions but said more needs to be done. In particular, he said gay couples should have full civil legal rights under federal law.
"I don't think it will happen until we get several more states," he said. "It doesn't have to be a majority, but it has to be a significant number embracing full marriage rights until we can expect that at the federal level."
So far, three states offer civil unions: New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont. Massachusetts in 2004 became the only state to allow gay marriage. Washington, Maine, California, New York City and Washington D.C., recognize domestic partnerships, and New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer this week pledged to introduce gay marriage legislation.
Robinson predicted gays would have full equality in 20 years, and he attributed the gains to gays being open about their homosexuality.
"Fifteen to 20 years ago, most Americans would have told you and been reasonably honest that they did not know a gay or lesbian. Now, there's not a family left, or a co-worker, that doesn't know someone," he said.
＜メモ＞ 性的少数者 固定的な男女のあり方に、違和感を持つ人たち。同性愛者や性同一性障害、身体的に男女両方の特徴を持つインターセックス（半陰陽性）らがいる。同性カップルの生活は、婚姻関係が認められないため、夫婦間での相続や税金面などの社会的保障がないほか、病院などから家族と認められず個人情報の提供を拒まれたりするなど、多くの困難がある。海外では、同性カップルに夫婦と同様の権利を保障するパートナーシップ制度の整備が、欧州を中心に進み、同性愛を公表する議員も増えている。