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The Year in Review - 2002

There was so much news, I couldn't include it all.  I remember when it was difficult to find one item, or two, or anything positive at all.  Well, those days are going, and will hopefully one day be gone.  Let's continue to work towards that future.  If I've left anything out you believe requires mention in this list, don't hesitate to drop me a note.

In Pride,


Saudi Arabia beheads three men for homosexuality, they  “committed acts of sodomy, married each other, seduced young men, and attacked those who rebuked them.” 

A lesbian teen girl, with the support of her family, hire an attorney to take legal action against the teen’s Tampa, Florida high school because the school refuses to allow her senior picture to be included in the yearbook unless she provides a picture wearing a "traditionally female outfit."

Jane Swift, Republican Massachusetts Governor, names openly gay Patrick Guerriero as her running mate for her upcoming reelection campaign.  Both end up dropping out of the race.

New York Republican Governor George Pataki endorses the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act during his state of the state address.

MTV and SHOWTIME announce their intent to create an all gay cable channel.

California's new Domestic Partnership law takes effect and 140 couples register its first day.

Maggie McIntosh becomes Maryland's first legislator to come out of the closet after 10 years as a state delegate and the majority leader of the House of Delegates.

An appellate court in the State of Georgia rules that a Vermont "Civl Union," although supposed to be the equivalent of a Vermont civil marriage, does not create a recognized marriage or other form of partnership in Georgia.

President Bush appoints Tom Coburn as co chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.  Many dislike the choice as Mr. Coburn is known for his challenging of the efficacy of condom use as means of protection.

Southern grocery giant Winn-Dixie admits that its sole reason for firing an employee of two decades was that off-duty he sometimes cross-dressed as a woman


The American Academy of Pediatrics officially endorses adoption by gay people. 

The National Education Association adopts a policy which asks school districts to protect gay and lesbian students (and staff members). 

Alabama state Surpreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore writes that homosexuality is “an inherent evil” and shouldn’t be tolerated in ruling on a lesbian mother's attempt to gain custody of her own children.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court upholds two sodomy laws that are specifically antigay in  nature.

Clinton Scott Risetter of  Santa Barbara, California is the victim of a hate crime when Martin Thomas Hartmann douses him with gasoline and set on fire.  Hartmann confessed to the crime and says he did it because Risetter was gay. 


Finland passes a law legalizing and recognizing gay partnerships.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls tells The New York Times that,  “people with [homosexual] inclinations just cannot be ordained,"  in response to a growing Church scandal.

A group of nine Florida state legislators who helped pass the state’s 1977 ban on adoptions by gays and lesbians say their support for the bill was wrong. 

Seven gay couples go to court in Massachusetts to force the state to issue them marriage licenses.  The Court rules that the matter is up to the legislature to decide.

SLDN's 2001 reports shows that 1,250 U.S. service members were discharged because of their homosexuality, the highest number of homosexual related discharges since 1987.

Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel, the owners of two dogs that killed  Diane Whipple in San Francisco in 2001, are found guilty on all counts.  

The Louisiana Supreme Court upholds the state's 200 year old sodomy statute. 


Darrell David Rice is finally indicted for the 1996 slayings of Julianne Williams and Laura “Lollie” Winans, two female hikers in a federal park in Virginia.  He tells authorities that they “deserved to die because they were lesbians.”

Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter, Mary Cheney, a lesbian who had declined to discuss her sexual orientation since her father’s nomination, joined the board of the Republican Unity Coalition, a gay-straight political alliance. 

The Tacoma, Washington city council passes a ban on discrimination against gay, lesbian, and transgendered people. In an ensuing election, voters uphold the law.


Evoking “Catch-22" the ACLU challenges an Alaska rule that bars gay marriage while simultaneously saying marriage is the only way its employees can get benefits for their partners.  

A teacher in Alabama is fired because the school district "believes" he is gay, even though he lead an extremely closeted lifestyle and went out of his way to assume a public heterosexual persona.

The Philadelphia City Council voted 15-2 to add gender identity to a city ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, public accommodations, and employment.


NYC Pride features a mass commitment ceremony with hundreds of couples participating.

The American Psychoanalytic Association announces its official position that barring gay adoption is unwarranted discrimination.

New York finally recognizes domestic partners when a bill is signed into law by Governor George Pataki  after unanimous passage in the state legislature. The law ensures that family members,  including same sex partners, of September 11 victims receive benefits. 

MTV's "True Life" series includes an installment that tells  the coming out stories of five young gay people.

Oscar Wilde Bookshop in Manhattan, generally acknowledged as the world’s first gay and lesbian bookstore, announces that it is going out of business.


The Washington state appeals Court unanimously rules that firing public employees because they are gay violates the U.S. Constitution.  According to the ACLU this is the first ruling of its kind from any appeals Court in the country. 

Alan Duncan, becomes the first serving Tory MP to openly declare his homosexuality.

AT&T Shareholders reject the removal of what is the nation’s oldest workplace non-discrimination policy.  The policy was instituted in 1975.

The Arkansas Supreme Court declares invalid a state law barring sexual relations between people of the same sex.


Activists challenge an Arkansas state ban on gay and lesbian foster parenting.

In Visalia, California, the local school board institutes the toughest anti-gay harassment program in the nation.

New Ikea commercials feature gay dads in a new advertising campaign targeting "real life" consumers.

New Zealand selects Labour Party member Chris Carter as its first openly gay cabinet minister.

The Ohio Supreme Court rules that a lesbian couple is allowed to legally adopt the same last name under Ohio’s name change law. 


Florida's Miami-Dade County overwhelmingly repudiated an effort to overturn a human rights ordinance that bans discrimination against gays and lesbians based on sexual orientation in housing, employment, lending, and public accommodations.

The New York Times publishes its first same sex commitment announcement, changing a long-standing editorial policy in order to do so.

Actor Trev Broudy is left comatose after being beaten senseless by two men on a West Hollywood street.

Ben Affleck stars in a PFLAG television ad campaign promoting tolerance towards homosexuality.

The head of a North Carolina branch of the YMCA is dismissed after using the organization’s official email database to send anti-gay material.


The ACLU seeks an order from the U.S. Supreme Court declaring part of Kansas’s “Romeo and Juliet Law” unconstitutional because it provides substantially higher penalties to gay teenagers as compared to heterosexual teenagers engaging in the same  sexual activities.  

A federal lawsuit is filed against the Vidalia Public Library for barring a Lesbian and Gay community newspaper from the library’s free display table.   The librarian cited “religious issues, gays versus Christians,” as the basis of  the prohibition.

Paris Mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, an openly gay man, is stabbed as he  greets visitors at an all night City Hall event.

Two gay Jamaican men are granted asylum in the United Kingdom due to the "severe homophobia" in their own country.

Former NFL star, Esera Tuaolo, comes out in an interview for HBO's "Real Sports" show.  He notes that one of the major factors in his early retirement was the need to keep his orientation a secret.

The Gay Games is held in Sydney, Australia.


Two high school seniors are voted "cutest couple" by their fellow seniors at Crete-Monee High School in the suburbs south of Chicago.  Because the students are both girls the school demands that the girls obtain the consent of their parents before allowing their picture, with that caption, to appear in the yearbook.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, replacing Richard Gephardt as leader of Democrats in the House of Representatives is noted for her support of  legalizing gay marriage and is on record of being in favor of needle exchanges as a way to combat the spread of AIDS.

According to a poll released by the Human Rights Campaign,  gays, lesbians, and bisexuals made up 5 percent of the electorate during the 2002 midterm elections.  


China lifts its ban on condom advertising as a means to deal with its expanding HIV/AIDS crisis.

The United State Supreme Court agrees to hear arguments in Lawrence v. Texas, a case challenging the Texas state law criminalizing certain sexual acts only when engage in by same gender couples.

The American Psychiatric Association issued a statement endorsing the right of gay and lesbian couples to adopt, "The APA supports initiatives which allow same-sex couples to adopt and co-parent children and supports all the associated legal rights, benefits, and responsibilities which arise from such initiatives."

In a settlement with undisclosed terms, Diane Whipple's mother and and her "partner" settle their civil lawsuit against the owners of the building where the vicious attack occurred. 

Jaguar announces plans to launch an advertising campaign targeting gay consumers.

A Pennsylvania Superior Court orders the non-biological former partner of the natural mother of five children born during their relationship to pay child support.

A gym teacher in Banning Unified School District of California allegedly bars a student from class because the 15-year old girl is a lesbian.  The girl, Ashly Massey, files suit.

A federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit by a Kentucky doctor that sought to strike down a local ordinance making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The court found that the ordinance did not affect the religious practices of Dr. J. Barrett Hyman, a Baptist and local gynecologist, and therefore his lawsuit was baseless.

The Board of Education of Boyd County, Kentucky, decided to ban all school clubs in the district in an effort to shut down a recently formed Gay Straight Alliance in its high school.

Other Years
1997 | 2000


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