• Family-friendly amusement park Kings Island hosts its 15th annual Pride Night.
• President Barack Obama signs the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” For the first time in America’s military history, openly gay service members don’t have to fear reprisal for revealing their sexual orientation.
• Nov. 8, 2011: Chris Seelbach is elected to City Council, becoming the first openly gay politician to win office in Cincinnati.
• CNKY Scene magazine launches, with the goal of providing Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky with information about the LGBT entertainment, nightlife, business and allied community.
• Dec. 6, 2011: During International Human Rights Day in Geneva, Switzerland, Hillary Clinton proclaims: “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,” adding that the United States will fight discrimination against LGBT people and encourage reform through the use of foreign aid and diplomacy.
• At the 24th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announces a new HUD policy to fight discrimination in federally supported housing programs.
• Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory signs onto the “Freedom to Marry” campaign and joins “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry,” a broad-based and nonpartisan group of mayors who believe that all people should be able to share in the love and commitment of marriage.
• In response to the March 24 assault of two students — one from UC and one from Miami — on the Miami campus, University of Cincinnati and Miami University student organizations unite to hold rallies against hate, call for an end to hate crimes and show support for LGBT people.
• April 20, 2012: Warren County teenager Maverick Couch is allowed to wear a T-shirt with the slogan “Jesus is Not A Homophobe” to show support for the Day of Silence, a day of protest against the bullying of gay students.
Waynesville High School had ordered him to turn his shirt inside out during last year’s remembrance, a decision he took to federal court.
• May 5, 2012: Tom Gabel, lead singer of Florida punk band Against Me! announces in Rolling Stone that he will begin living as a woman. The transgender singer remains married to his wife and has changed his name to Laura Jane Grace.
• May 9, 2012: Barack Obama becomes the first sitting president to openly support marriage equality.
• The Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) of Greater Cincinnati hosts the 11th annual GLSEN Prom at the Freedom Center, featuring an event for under 21 and one for adults.
• With a push from Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati City Council passes a measure to allow city employees in same-sex and other partnerships to receive health insurance benefits.
• The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston rules that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional for banning federal benefits for married same-sex couples.
• Retailer JCPenney takes a stand after group One Million Mom’s threatens to boycott the store in response to the brand naming openly gay Ellen DeGeneres as spokesperson. JCPenney responded with a LGBT-friendly Father’s Day ad campaign featuring a real-life gay couple and their two children, with accompanying text: “What makes Dad so cool? He’s the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver — all rolled into one. Or two.”
• Local drag queen Penny Tration earns a spot on season five of cable TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race after winning a Facebook fan contest. The series is expected to premiere in early 2013.
• June 23-July 1: Cincinnati celebrates a week of Pride with a festival at Sawyer Point, a Pride Parade, a LGBT pub crawl and other events. Cincinnati’s first Pride Parade and Festival was held on Fountain Square in April of 1973.
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