California’s Proposition 8 has been a dark cloud hanging over the LGBT community since it passed in 2008′s general election, but this year, in a 138-page ruling, District Judge Vaughn Walker struck it down. Rachel Maddow said the ruling was "I kid you not … better than whatever novel you are currently reading, and you should print it out and curl up with it instead! You will not be disappointed!" Judge Walker ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional under equal protection and due process clauses.
The battle for marriage equality is far from over, but we think history will prove Judge Walker’s ruling as the first of the fatal blows dealt by the good guys.
Dan Savage started "It Gets Better" long before the tragic teen suicides that brought global attention to the project, but it turned out to be exactly the thing we needed to feel our way out of the dark. It started with a couple of gay guys making YouTube videos promising LGBT teenagers that life gets better after high school, but in the wake of deaths brought about by bullying, hundreds of celebrities lent their voice to the campaign.
Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the entire cast of Glee, and even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and American president Barack Obama joined together to offer a message of hope. Some of the most poignant "It Gets Better" messages came from regular people like you and me. Joel Burns and the gay and lesbian folks at Pixar make us cry every time we watch their videos. "It Gets Better" is more than a catchy slogan; it’s true.
We are always thankful to the world’s most famous lesbians. They are consistently warm and funny and articulate, and everywhere they go, they diffuse the stigma that sometimes surrounds gay and lesbian couples. In the last two years, especially, Portia and Ellen have really taken a stand for equality. Ellen hasn’t shied away from talking about things like Prop. 8 and DADT on her talk show, and when Portia drops by to promote her projects — like her moving memoir, Unbearable Lightness — or just try to identify the magical creatures in the woodland behind their house, the couple is affectionate and familiar. Portia changed her last name to "DeGeneres" this year, too, as a symbol of her commitment to her wife.