Gay issues remain front and center in the nation, with gay-rights advocates seeing a major victory in December 2010, when Congress voted to end the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, defeating a 17-year ban on gay and lesbians serving openly in the U.S. armed forces. In August 2010, gay-rights proponents won a major victory when California’s Proposition 8 was overturned by a federal court judge, who held that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry. Iowa and Vermont also have made recent decisions supporting gay marriage. Activists on both sides of the issue are gearing up for more fights and election campaigns. But in other nations, particularly European ones, gay and lesbian couples are on the same legal footing as their heterosexual counterparts. Of course, homosexuality remains taboo in many other regions, where laws permitting gay and lesbian civil unions are many years, if not decades, away. A look at the global fight over gay rights.
At Left, Sen. Joe Liebermann, I-Conn., Sen Susan Collins, R-Maine (right) and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., head to a press conference on Dec. 18 to announce passage of a bill that ended the DADT policy.