I guess I never really realized it was illegal. That's when a series of demonstrations against police harassment broke out at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar. Grabarz was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U. The stakes were high. At the time, AIDS was taking a terrible toll on the gay population and homophobic politicians such as Louisiana's David Duke were gaining national prominence. I told him I was a lesbian. One of them was a married grandfather who tearfully confided in Grabarz. If you know of a GSA that we do not have listed, or would like to update information on an existing group, please send us the information so we can update our database. Ella Grasso signaled she would not sign it.
Her friends and her mother showered her with love. Eugene Migliaro derisively referred to gays as "lollipops,'' a comment that prompted a reprimand from the chamber. Betty Hudson, a Democratic lawmaker from conservative Madison, introduced the gay rights bill in Connecticut was the fourth state to enact such a law, which bars discrimination against gays and lesbians in housing, employment, public accommodations and credit. She attributes their positive response to several factors, from the increased visibility of gays and lesbians in popular culture to the open and affirming policies of her mom's Unitarian church. The uproar was immediate. She came out as bisexual during her freshman year in high school. It was very, very different back then. I think most people were sympathetic to that. One individual who lives in the neighborhood was arrested for loitering while Well, I guess I was," said Hudson, now an year-old grandmother living in Simsbury. Grabarz was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U. It also provided a template for some of the battles that followed, including marriage equality. State lawmakers passed a comprehensive law banning discrimination against gays and lesbians in , a few months after Grabarz came out. While same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia, 29 states have no civil rights protections for gays and lesbians. Pattee participated in a series of political workshops organized by the National Organization of Women and the League of Women Voters, where she learned the nuts and bolts of phone banking, lobbying, canvassing and the other grunt work that grassroots political organizing entails. Many advocates believe Grabarz' announcement helped nudge the gay rights bill over the finish line. One of them was a married grandfather who tearfully confided in Grabarz. The aim was to convince lawmakers — as well as the general public — that marriage was more than a bundle of legal rights and responsibilities. Certainly people could lose their jobs and did lose their jobs. A colleague stood up on the floor of the House chamber and said, "I don't know any gay people, do you? The parents of twin boys who are now in middle school, Kerrigan and Mock were the lead plaintiffs in the legal battle that brought marriage equality to Connecticut in For them, marriage equality signified an important milestone on the road to full acceptance. Grabarz recalled the woman's words: Debate over the bill raged on for years.
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