Yesterday marked a milestone in history for the US; same-sex marriage is now legal, and stands equal to straight marriage. The ruling was 5-4, which means that it was a close call! To celebrate, and understand why we are celebrating, I have complied a small history lesson (facts from NYCPRIDE.ORG)

This whole week has been Pride dedicated, being a week filled with events celebrating the progress of the LGBT community in the States. This has been a cause that’s been fought since the Stonewall Riots, June 28th 1969. It wasn’t until 4 years later, in 1973 that the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM-II, where it had up until then been listed alongside pedophilia and zoophilia. 1979 market the first national march for the gay and lesbian community, also marking the 10 year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. In the early 1980s, when AIDS was spreading rapidly, it was referred to as GRID5 (gay-related immune deficiency), ‘gay cancer’, ‘community-acquired immune dysfunction’ and ‘gay compromise syndrome’. Every day 1-2 people were diagnosed, while the government failed to realize that this straight people could get the disease too (The Normal Heart portrays this situation). The struggle to get proper medication and treatment continued as doctors did not want to treat the sick gays. It also turned out that the medication wasn’t effective, and there wasn’t a lot being done about it. Dallas Buyers Club portrays the situation in 1985 (because who would’t want to watch a movie to learn recent history).

Obstacles, like the Defense of Marriage Act, continued to get in the way, but the community marched on. In 1997, Heritage of Pride hosted the 16th annual International Association of Lesbian & Gay Pride Coordinators conference, the first to have substantial participation from international committees. In 2000 Vermont passes first laws allowing for Civil Unions and Registered Partnerships among LGBT couples. Locally, Heritage of Pride struggles with the city over permit renewals for the banners that had been hung across Christopher Street for a decade. For the first time, in 2004, same sex marriage laws are officially passed in the state of Massachusetts, followed by California in 2008. In 2010, Washington State, New Hampshire, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and New York all recognized same sex marriage. One of Heritage of Pride’s 2013 Grand Marshals, Edie Windsor brings her fight against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) all the way to the US Supreme Court and wins!

And today we can proudly say that same sex marriage is legal in all 50 states!

Now that you know what happened in the US, here’s the situation in Norway: Norway, like most of Scandinavia, is very liberal in regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights, and it also became the first country in the world to enact an anti-discrimination law protecting homosexuals in certain areas. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1972, and in 1981, Norway became the first country in the world to enact a law to prevent discrimination against LGBT people. Norway has allowed same-sex registered partnerships since the 30 April 1993 act, which came into force on 1 August 1993. Norway became the second country to do so, after Denmark, which implemented a registered partnership law in 1989. Registered partnerships granted virtually all the protections, responsibilities and benefits of marriage, including arrangements for the breakdown of the relationship. The first parliamentary hearing, including the vote, was held on 11 June 2008, with the lower house approving by 84 votes to 41 a bill that allowed same-sex couples to marry. This came after the Norwegian government proposed a marriage law on 14 March 2008, that would give lesbian and gay couples the same rights as heterosexuals, including church weddings (although the law does not oblige any religious community to marry same-sex couples), full joint adoption and assisted pregnancies.

So, welcome to the club USA!

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