2006 was a great year for lesbians. We had lesbian celebrities taking a stand for our rights, gay and lesbian athletes made great strides and gay marriage and civil unions passed in several places.
South Africa became the fifth nation and the first in Africa to grant gays and lesbians the same rights as heterosexuals by legalizing gay marriage. The law went into effect November 30, 2006.
In 2006 gay and lesbian athletes from around the world had not one, but two Olympic-type sporting events. The Gay Games took place in Chicago and the World Outgames in Montreal.
Rosie O'Donnell is one out lesbian talk show host who has championed gay and lesbian issues on her show. Even if she is controversial at times, she's not afraid to take a stand.
Gay and lesbian students from around the country traveled for seven weeks, visiting and confronting colleges that ban the enrollment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.
We didn't get another state to legalize gay marriage, but New Jersey became the third state to legalize civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
Amelie Mauresmo won Wimbledon for the first time after defeating Justine Henin-Hardenne. Earlier in the year, Amelie Mauresmo won the Australia Open.
For the first time, a state voted down a ban on gay marriage. Unfortunately, seven other states were not so progressive. Voters in Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin all voted to ban gay marriage in their state.
Rumors of Oprah's alleged homosexuality have been circulating for some time, but Oprah herself set the record straight in the August 2006 issue of O Magazine. Oprah says that although she and rumored lesbian friend Gayle King are very close, she is not gay.
Under the Pension Protection Act, signed into law on August 17, 2006, non-spouse beneficiaries can rollover retirement benefits to their partners. Non-spouse couples are also allowed to draw from a retirement fund in case of an emergency of the beneficiary.
The more gay-friendly democrats won back both the House and Senate in 2006 and out of the 225 candidates that gay rights organization Human Rights Campaign endorsed, 208 won.