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The news of our lives: just a few of the many dramatic developments that marked 2005 as another year of dramatic change.


JAN. 10: The U.S. Supreme Court rejects an appeal by four men who challenged Florida's law that prohibits adoption by gays, leaving in place the country's only statewide law that does so.

JAN. 12: Patric Henn, a man who collected $68,000 by falsely claiming his domestic partner died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, pleads guilty to grand theft for swindling the money out of the American Red Cross.

JAN. 18: Staunchly antigay Christian leader James Dobson accuses the creators of SpongeBob SquarePants of using the popular cartoon character to advance a "pro-homosexual" agenda. Gay rights leaders respond by welcoming SpongeBob to come out

JAN. 19: In what is believed to be the first ruling of its kind, a Florida judge upholds the federal Defense of Marriage Act, dismissing a lawsuit by two women who sought to have their Massachusetts marriage recognized in the state. "This is a legal shot heard round the world," says attorney Ellis Rubin, who filed the suit and promises to appeal it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

JAN. 25: President Bush's new education secretary, Margaret Spellings, effectively kills an episode of the PBS children's cartoon series Postcards From Buster by denouncing the presence in it of lesbian parents--who were not the focus of the show--before the episode even hits airwaves. "Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in the episode," Spellings says.

JAN. 28: After eight years with the organization, Joan M. Garry announces she is stepping down as executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

JAN. 28: The board of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Jersey votes to oust its president, the Reverend Norman Kansfield, because Kansfield had officiated at his daughter's same-sex wedding in Massachusetts the year before.

JAN. 1: Planned New Year's celebrations at Phuket Beach, Thailand, Asia's gayest resort area, are replaced by a somber candlelight vigil to mourn the incredible toss of lives from a massive tsunami December 26. 2004, that took more than 200,000 lives. By the first week in January, cleanup and reconstruction were under way and some beachgoers began to return to Phuket (below).



FEB. 8: The reggae music industry and gay activists in the United Kingdom strike a global deal to silence homophobic music by not releasing or reissuing offensive songs--some of which incite violence against gays--and by requiring promoters and musicians to promise not to perform such songs in concert.

FEB. 9: In response to a media firestorm sweeping the globe, Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross appears on The View to deny rumors that she is a lesbian and that she is planning to come out in The Advocate.

FEB. 10: James Guckert, who continues to write under the name Jeff Gannon, resigns from his post as a White House correspondent for the conservative Web site Talon News amid questions about his sexual identity and background. Investigation by several bloggers had linked Guckert to several Web sites suggesting he was a gay escort, including one that apparently was his personal site.

FEB. 11: Health officials in New York City start a nationwide panic by announcing the discovery of a rare and potentially aggressive new strain of HIV found in a local man who had numerous sexual partners. The discovery later turns out to be a false alarm.

FEB. 12: Maya Keyes--daughter of Alan Keyes, the ultraconservative, homophobic political commentator and former presidential candidate--comes out in an exclusive interview, in it she tells of her recent eviction from a family home for telling her dad of her plans to reveal her sexuality.

FEB. 18: Amid international protest, officials at the Bremerhaven Zoo in Germany agree to abandon plans to break up three gay Humboldt penguin couples by luring them into heterosexuality with four female penguins flown in from Sweden. In an open letter to the zoo, several gay rights groups denounced "the organized harassment through female seductresses,"

FEB. 23: The New York State supreme court rules against the infamous "Ithaca 50," a group of 25 same-sex couples suing for the right to marry in the state. Judge Robert C. Mulvey says it is a job for lawmakers, not courts, to extend marriage rights.


MARCH 1: Voters in Topeka, Kan., uphold an ordinance banning discrimination against gays and lesbians in municipal hiring. The result comes as a shock to the leader of the unsuccessful repeal effort--Topeka antigay preacher Fred Phelps, notorious for picketing the funerals of gay people.

MARCH 2: Despite a recently passed state constitutional amendment preventing legal recognition of same-sex couples, an Arkansas senate committee rejects a proposal to bar all unmarried adults who live together from adopting and foster parenting.

MARCH 9: After 12 years at the helm of the pro-choice political group EMILY's List, openly gay Washington, D.C., insider Joe Solmonese takes the helm at the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

MARCH 14: In what is described as a major victory for gays and lesbians in the state, California superior court judge Richard Kramer rules that "no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners," opening the door for California to follow Massachusetts in legalizing same-sex marriage. The case is currently on appeal.

MARCH 17: Gary M. Hirte, 19, a Wisconsin Eagle Scout and straight-A high school student convicted of murdering a male substitute teacher, is sentenced to life in prison. During his trial Hirte used a "gay panic" defense, arguing that the killing was justified because of an unwanted sexual encounter with the victim.

MARCH 22: Lesbian tennis star Martina Navratilova, 48, signs on to be the new spokeswoman for the lesbian travel company Olivia Cruises and Resorts. "This is the first deal I've gotten because I am gay," she says.

MARCH 23: A Windjammer Barefoot Cruises ship is diverted from entering the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts-Nevis because of concerns about it being a gay and nudist cruise, the company says.

MARCH 30: Archconservative Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders hold a press conference in Jerusalem to condemn WorldPride, a 10-day LGBT event scheduled to take place in the holy city in August. On May 15 organizers announce World Pride will be postponed one year, citing potential conflicts with Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.



APRIL 2: Pope John Paul II dies at the Vatican, leaving a 26-year legacy of staunch opposition to gays, their relationships, and their rights.

APRIL 12: All three pro-gay candidates for the Massachusetts legislature win their seats, a big step toward the eventual legislative defeat September 14 of a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage but allowed civil unions.

APRIL 13: Eric Rudolph pleads guilty to the bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala., which killed a police officer, and to three bombings in Atlanta, including one at a gay bar that injured several people and another at the 1996 Summer Olympics that killed one and injured 111.

APRIL 14: Saying Multnomah County officials had no authority to issue them, the Oregon supreme court nullifies nearly 3,000 marriage licenses issued in 2004 to same-sex couples.

APRIL 19. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, a hard-line guardian of conservative doctrine who is widely believed to have helped John Paul II reinforce the Vatican's antigay policies, becomes Pope Benedict XVI.

APRIL 20: Connecticut's Republican governor, M. Jodi Rell, signs into law a bill that makes Connecticut the second state, behind Vermont, to offer civil unions to gay and lesbian couples, and the first to do so without being ordered by the courts.

APRIL 21: A month after software giant Microsoft pulled its support for the measure, the Washington State senate rejects a bill by a vote of 25 to 24 that would have outlawed discrimination against gays and lesbians in housing and employment.

APRIL 24: Republican U.S. senator Bill Frist of Tennessee leads "Justice Sunday," a political event organized by the antigay Family Research Council and broadcast to fundamentalist churches across the nation in an effort to build support for conservative judicial nominees. At the event same-sex marriage and other gay and lesbian issues are repeatedly ridiculed.

APRIL 26: The San Francisco Human Rights Commission finds that Castro District gay bar owner Les Natali repeatedly violated city codes by discriminating against black patrons at his Badlands nightclub.


MAY 5: In a shocking article published in The Spokesman-Review newspaper, Spokane, Wash., mayor James West, who has repeatedly voted against gay rights during his long political career, admits that he cruised gay chat rooms for sex. West refuses to characterize himself as gay and denies that he offered City Hall jobs to men he met online.

MAY 6: To the dismay of gay rights activists, the Food and Drug Administration confirms that it will implement new recommendations for sperm clinics to refuse donations by men who have had gay sex in the five years prior to donating.

MAY 10: In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Swedish researchers reveal that gay men's brains respond differently to sexual smells than straight men's do, adding to the mounting evidence that homosexuality is biological in nature.

MAY 12: A federal judge strikes down Nebraska's five-year-old constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage, stating that it creates a significant barrier for gays "to participate in the political process."

MAY 17: Gay and lesbian couples in Massachusetts celebrate the one-year anniversary of same-sex marriage's legalization in the state. At the time nearly 6,200 couples had taken advantage of the nationally unique law.

MAY 21: Jurors in Missouri find former police officer Steven Rios guilty of the first-degree murder of gay college student Jesse Valencia, who reportedly was having an affair with the married officer. Rios is sentenced to life in prison.


JUNE 6: Pope Benedict XVI makes his first papal statement on homosexuality when he uses an address to a conference of the Diocese of Rome to condemn same-sex unions as "pseudo matrimonies" and "anarchic."

JUNE 9: As part of a deal struck by a group of "moderate" Democratic and Republican U.S. senators, former Alabama attorney general William Pryor is confirmed for a seat on the 11th U.S. circuit court of appeals. Pryor consistently opposed gay rights and filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Lawrence v. Texas sodomy case in which he compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia.

JUNE 13: The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that for the first time since the 1980s--the height of the AIDS epidemic--the number of Americans believed to be infected with HIV exceeds 1 million.

JUNE 22: The Southern Baptist Convention, which had denounced the Walt Disney Co. for being too pro-gay, ends its eight-year-old boycott against Disney even though the company changed none of its policies.

JUNE 26: The San Francisco Chronicle reports that author Terry McMillan filed for divorce from her husband of six years, Jonathan Plummer (who inspired her to write the 1996 novel How Stella Got Her Groove Back) after he revealed to McMillan that he is gay.

JUNE 30: The Spanish parliament legalizes same-sex marriage, making Spain the third country, after the Netherlands and Belgium, to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples nationwide. The new law also allows gays and lesbians to adopt.

JUNE 30: A 30-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish man breaks through a police line at Jerusalem's fourth annual gay pride parade and stabs three marchers. All three are taken to a hospital, where they survive their wounds. The parade continues despite the attack.


JULY 12: Criminal charges are dropped against New Paltz, N.Y., mayor Jason West, who had been accused of illegally marrying two dozen same-sex couples in the small Hudson Valley village in 2004,

JULY 15: Robert Traynham, a top aide to virulently antigay U.S. senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, tells blogger Michael Rogers that he is gay, "Not only is Mr. Traynham an exemplary staffer, but he is a trusted friend and confidant to me and my family," Santorum says in response to the publicity.

JULY 20: Despite strong opposition from conservative law-makers and religious leaders, Canada becomes the world's fourth nation to extend full marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.


AUG. 1: Less than two months after he caused a national sensation by posting on his Web log that he was being forced by his parents into an "ex-gay" camp in Tennessee, 16-year-old Zach Stark announces that he has returned home and is conflicted about what has happened. "Homosexuality is still a factor in my life--it's not who I am, it never has been," he says upon his return.

AUG. 4: John G. Roberts, President Bush's first pick to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, once helped a group of gay rights activists overturn Colorado's antigay Amendment 2, The Los Angeles Times reveals.

AUG. 7: Five years after it debuted on the cable network Showtime, the gay drama series Queer as Folk, which brought graphic depictions of gay sex to the American mainstream, airs its final episode.

AUG. 17: Neil G. Giuliano, the former four-term Republican mayor of Tempe, Ariz., is named president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

AUG. 18: During an interview for an MTV special, rapper Kanye West implores his fellow hip-hop stars to stop the rampant homophobia that has permeated the genre. "Not just hip-hop but America discriminates," he says. "And I want to come on TV and tell my fellow rappers, tell my friends, 'Yo, stop it.'"

AUG. 22: In a groundbreaking ruling that could have national implications, the California supreme court says that gay couples who raise children are lawful parents and must mutually provide for their children if the relationship ends.


SEPT. 4; Even though much of their city has been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, a group of gay and lesbian residents in New Orleans's French Quarter hold a small version of the planned Southern Decadence festival. Most of the French Quarter was spared the flooding that devastated huge portions of the city.

SEPT. 11: In Miami Beach, Fla., after witnessing a gay couple being hit with a thrown bottle, NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal follows the attacker until he is able to flag down an officer. who then arrests the accused gay basher.

SEPT. 12: Three years after they allegedly beat transgender teen Gwen Araujo to death and buried her body in Northern California's Sierra Nevada foothills, Michael Magidson and Jose Merel are found guilty of second-degree murder. The jury deadlocks on a third defendant, Jason Cazares.

SEPT. 14: In an important victory for gay rights activists, the Massachusetts legislature votes 157-39 to kill a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

SEPT. 23: An official spokeswoman admits that the U.S. military lifts its ban on openly gay soldiers when it pertains to personnel about to be deployed to a war zone but reserves the right to kick them out if and when they come home.

SEPT. 29: California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger follows through on a promise to veto a hard-won same-sex-marriage bill passed by the state legislature, saying the issue should be decided by the courts.


OCT. 1: Connecticut's civil unions law goes into effect, but few couples take advantage of it.

OCT. 3: A 1989 questionnaire by a Dallas gay rights group is released indicating that former Dallas city council candidate Harriet Miers, President Bush's second pick this year to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, supported equality for gays but did not support the repeal of Texas's sodomy law.

OCT. 14: Antigay Christian group American Family Association threatens to boycott American Girl. maker of a popular line of children's dolls, because the company is donating money to Girls Inc., which the AFA deems a "pro-abortion, pro-lesbian advocacy group,"

OCT. 15: After being assured by Nation of islam leader Louis Farrakhan that he would be allowed to speak, black gay rights leader Keith Boykin is kept from the podium at the Millions More March in Washington, D.C.

OCT. 21: The Kansas supreme court strikes down a law that provides a lighter punishment for underage sex between opposite-sex partners than for underage gay sex. Matthew Limon's 17-year sentence is reduced to time served: almost 5 1/2 years. Authorities soon file a new charge from the same case, seeking five years' parole.

OCT. 26: Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter and former campaign manager, Mary Cheney, returns to the private sector by accepting a position programming content at America Online. Cheney once worked as a corporate relations manager at Coors Brewing Co., where she provided outreach to gays and lesbians.

OCT. 26: WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes rocks the world of professional sports by coming out as a lesbian. In a subsequent gaypress exclusive, Swoopes tells The Advocate she hopes her coming-out "is gonna make a difference to a lot of people out there who want to come out and don't know how to do it or are afraid."

OCT. 26: Fifties Hollywood heartthrob Tab Hunter comes out in his new memoir, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star. "I had very, very few close friends, and even a smaller number knew what my sexuality was," he says,

OCT. 27: George Takei--Star Trek's Mr. Sulu--comes out in an interview with the Los Angeles gay publication Frontiers.

OCT. 31: The highest court in the United Methodist Church defrocks lesbian minister Irene "Beth" Stroud. Having revealed her sexual identity in 2003, Stroud had previously been defrocked by a lower church court in 2004, but that ruling was overturned by a church appeals court. After this final ruling, she says she will remain a lay minister at her Philadelphia church.


NOV. 2: The Boston Globe reveals that Samuel A. Alito--Bush's replacement nominee after Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court under intense opposition from far-right leaders--once chaired an undergraduate task force at Princeton University that recommended the decriminalization of sodomy and said discrimination against gays in hiring "should be forbidden."

NOV. 5: The Ku Klux Klan holds a rally in Austin to show support for a ballot initiative that would amend the Texas constitution to deny marriage and other rights to gay and lesbian couples in the state. The amendment is overwhelmingly passed November 8.

NOV. 7: The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal of a pro-transgender ruling, leaving in place a victory for Cincinnati police officer Philecia Barnes, who won an antidiscrimination lawsuit against the city.

NOV. 8: In what is considered an important win during a time of many gay rights losses, voters in Maine reject a ballot measure that would have repealed a law passed in March protecting gays from discrimination in housing and employment.

NOV. 9: PlanetOut Inc., owner of and other gayspecific Internet interests, purchases the assets of LPI Media Inc., owner of The Advocate and Out magazines, for $31.1 million.

NOV. 15: Andre Boisclair is elected leader of Quebec's separatist Parti Quebecois, be coming the first openly gay head of a national political party in Canada.

NOV. 17: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases a report showing that the overall rate of HIV infection among men who have sex with men is rising.

NOV. 29: The Vatican angers gay priests and their supporters everywhere by releasing a long-awaited document on the clergy, which states that men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" shouldn't be ordained. However, it makes exceptions for those with "a transitory problem," though "such tendencies must be clearly overcome" for at least three years.


DEC. 5: The United Kingdom's groundbreaking Civil Partnership Act goes into effect, providing gay and lesbian couples who register many of the rights and protections of marriage. Singer Elton John and his longtime partner, David Furnish, as well as George Michael and Kenny Goss, announce plans to join under the law in early 2006.

DEC. 9: Brokeback Mountain, the story of two cowboys who fall in love (starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal), opens to high acclaim.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:TIME LINE
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 17, 2006
Previous Article:Speak for yourself.
Next Article:Friend or foe? New year's edition.

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