Hopes for gay-rights gains shift to courts (Boston)
Gay-rights activists, acknowledging they will lose momentum for their agenda in Congress when Republicans assume control of the House this week, are pinning their hopes for further gains in 2011 on a series of incremental measures and a host of federal court cases.
Last month’s historic repeal of the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military signaled an expanding political acceptance of fuller integration of gays into American life. Yet activists and observers caution against expecting anything as dramatic from the next Congress.
For instance, a legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, is virtually out of the question in the near future because of the GOP’s rise to power in the House, advocates said.
“It’s frustrating. The repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was a tremendous victory, but there’s a great deal more to be done,’’ said Brian Moulton, chief legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.
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