There was much cause for celebration this past year when the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the country. Yet, as those who take an interest in LGBT history likely understand, the decision was a part of a progression that had been going on for some time.

And such a progression is due to the efforts of many people and in the case of gay rights, it is quite possible that some of the most important work has been done by artists who helped promote understanding through their creations.

When David Bowie died Jan. 10, the world lost not only a talented musician but a man who is also considered an LGBT icon. Back in 1972, Mr. Bowie declared that he was gay. Later, in 1976, he announced that he was bi-sexual. And although he later renounced those statements, his initial declarations had already had a positive effect.

In one obituary, the writer made the point that it was not relevant whether Mr. Bowie was actually gay. What mattered was his ability to project a sense of “otherness” that many in the LGBT community could connect with. According to another writer, Mr. Bowie was able to help the gay rights movement gain traction throughout society.

There is no way to know just how profound Mr. Bowie’s impact was in helping to bring about the important changes we have experienced over the years regarding the legal rights of same-sex couples. But along with the nationwide adaptation of same-sex marriage, gay men and women have also found that they have the same legal needs as heterosexuals.

And when issues such as divorce, child custody and child support come into play, it is important to have an attorney who understands the specific challenges faced by those who are ending their same-sex relationships.

Source: BBC America, “David Bowie’s LGBT Legacy,” Kevin Wicks, Jan. 12, 2016