From fighting for the right to serve in the military to pushing for the right to marry their partners, gay Americans face battles for equality on many fronts. It appears that progress is about to be made toward the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, while the fight for marriage equality in California is set to sit on the back burner for some time.
This Fall, the Senate will hold hearings on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. It's the first time since 1993 that lawmakers will take up the policy that prevents openly gay people from serving in the military. NY Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, whose legislation prompted the hearings, points out that 265 men and women have been dismissed from the military under the policy since President Obama took office. According to polls, 69 percent of Americans think gays should be allowed to serve.
In California, backers of same-sex marriage are thinking about waiting until at least 2012 to campaign to overturn Proposition 8. Major gay rights activists believe that the only thing worse than losing the fight for marriage equality in 2008 would be losing in 2010, and based on current poll numbers, a loss could be very likely.
So what's the moral of this story? It appears that the fate of gay rights is closely tied to poll numbers.