With the exception of the anti-gay marriage Prop 8 passage in California, 2009 was a decent year for gay rights advances.
President Barack Obama signed a LGBT-inclusive federal hate crimes bill into law. Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, granting marriage equality to same-sex couples in the nation’s capital.
New York Governor David Paterson issued an executive order extending anti-discrimination policies to gender identity for state employees. New Hampshire legalized same-sex marriage. Locally, the Shelby County Commission passed a non-discrimination ordinance protecting LGBT employees. The list goes on.
Celebrate these advances (and those to come in 2010) on New Year's Eve. Here's a guide to gay New Year's Eve happenings in the Bluff City:
* The Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center is hosting an early New Year's Eve get-together from 6 to 9 p.m. at the center (892 S. Cooper). Stop in before heading to your party of choice.
* Backstreet Memphis (2018 Court) celebrates 15 years at its annual New Year's bash. There's a special New Year's Eve drag show in the Coliseum room at 11 p.m. and a $5,000 balloon drop at midnight.
* The Pumping Station (1382 Poplar) is hosting a New Year's Eve bash for a measly $5 cover. Doors open at 6 p.m.
* It's a regular night at Dru's Place (1474 Madison) with karaoke and darts.
Happy New Year!