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  • Originally published 06/10/2013

    Over 50 years, local activists helped gay-rights movement surmount setbacks, make huge gains

    Go back 50 years in time.Homosexuality was deemed a mental disorder by the nation’s psychiatric authorities, and gay sex was a crime in every state but Illinois. Federal workers could be fired merely for being gay.Today, gays serve openly in the military, work as TV news anchors and federal judges, win elections as big-city mayors and members of Congress. Popular TV shows have gay protagonists.And now the gay-rights movement may be on the cusp of momentous legal breakthroughs. Later this month, a Supreme Court ruling could lead to legalization of same-sex marriage in California, and there’s a good chance the court will require the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in all U.S. jurisdictions where they are legal — as of now, 12 states and Washington, D.C....