National Equality March. 2009.
“The National Equality March was a national political rally that occurred on October 11, 2009 in Washington, D.C. It called for equal protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Many groups joined by also organizing other events for the weekend, which coincided with National Coming Out Day on October 11 and marked eleven years since the beating and murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, which prompted national attention and action to expand hate crime laws. The Matthew Shepard Act and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law 11 days later, expanding the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The bill also removes, in the case of hate crimes related to the race, color, religion, or national origin of the victim, the prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally protected activity, like voting or going to school, the bill gives federal authorities greater ability to engage in hate crimes investigations that local authorities choose not to pursue, it provided $5 million per year in funding for fiscal years 2010 through 2012 to help state and local agencies pay for investigating and prosecuting hate crimes, and it requires the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to track statistics on hate crimes based on gender and gender identity (statistics for the other groups were already tracked). Furthermore, on the eve of the march, US President Barack Obama made another commitment to end "Don't ask, don't tell", the US military policy forbidding gays, bisexuals, and lesbians from serving openly. Legislation to repeal DADT was enacted in December 2010, specifying that the policy would remain in place until the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certified that repeal would not harm military readiness, followed by a 60-day waiting period. A July 6, 2011, ruling from a federal appeals court barred further enforcement of the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members. President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen sent that certification to Congress on July 22, 2011, which set the end of DADT to September 20, 2011.” -Wikipedia