The Fight Continues - Major Court Battles Ensue in the 1990s

There were several major court battles that emerged in the 1990's that would help continue to shape and define the battle for LGBTQ rights in Virginia. These court cases included the battle to eliminate the anti-gay Alcohol Beverage Control regulations, Sharon Bottoms' fight for custody of her son Tyler and the changing face of the LGBTQ fight to serve openly in the Armed Forces including the cases of Tracy Thorne.

The issues raised in all of these cases continue to be issues today in 2010. Although there are no longer anti-gay regulations included in the ABC regulations, Virginia has one of the most restrictive constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage, or any provisions which would establish a marriage like relationship. Gay parents still have to worry about whether they will lose custody of their children due to court biases. The military still doesn't allow gays and lesbians to serve openly.

For all of our advances, there is still far to go. We still have a lot to fight for, and against, in 21st century Richmond.

ABC Regulations challenged in court
Groups in Virginia continued to fight against the anti-gay discriminatory Alcohol Beverage Control regulations and in 1993 they were finally overturned.
Read More: ABC Regulations challenged in court

Lesbian Mother, Sharon Bottoms, Loses Custody of Son
Sharon Bottoms became a household name in LGBTQ households in Richmond and gained national attention when her mother sought and won custody of Bottoms' 3 year old son Tyler. Bottoms' mother contended that Bottoms was an unfit parent largely due to the fact that Bottoms was a lesbian living with her partner.
Read More: Lesbian Mother, Sharon Bottoms, Loses Custody of Son Loses Custody of Son

Naval Aviator Tracy Thorne Comes Out
Tracy Thorne-Begland (nee Tracy Thorne) became the face of the fight to allow LGBTQ service members to serve openly.
Read More: Naval Aviator Tracy Thorne Comes Out and Fights to Serve in the Military