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Gay/Lesbian Related Events - Historical Time Line - Gay Firsts

In 1528-36,"Spanish explorer Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca makes the earliest written account of effeminate Indians in Florida who `go about dressed as women and do women's tasks.'"

In 1566,"In Florida, Guillermo, a French interpreter accused of being a traitor and `a great Sodomite' is murdered by the Spaniards."

In 1610, "The Virginia Colony passes the earliest American sodomy law, dictating the death penalty for offenders.", "Law does not include women as potential `sodomites'."

In 1613,"Francisco de Pareja, a Spanish missionary with the Florida Indians, records in his work Confessionario (Confessional) the likelihood of sodomy between native men and of sexual acts between native women."

In 1624, "Though the evidence is slim, Richard Cornish, master of the ship the Ambrose, is executed by hanging in the Virginia Colony for alleged `buggery' of one of his indentured servants, the ship's steward, William Cowse."

In 1629, "The Virginia Court records the first incidence of gender ambiguity among the American Colonists."

In 1636, "In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Rev. John Cotton proposes the death penalty for sixteen crimes, including sodomy, which he calls `unnatural filthiness' and defines as `carnal fellowship of man with man, or woman with woman'."

In 1641, "The Massachusetts Bay Colony adopts a body of laws (which remain unprinted until 1648), including sodomy as a capital crime."

In 1642, "Connecticut adopts twelve capital crimes, among which is sodomy, defined as `a man lying with a man'."

In 1646, "Jan Creoli, a Negro is executed by choking in New Netherland for sodomy. Manuel Congo, the ten year old whom Creoli allegedly sodomized, receives a public flogging.", "In Connecticut, William Plaine, one of the original settlers of the town of Guilford is accused of committing sodomy twice in England and of corrupting a great part of the youth of Guilford by masturbation. Plaine is executed at New Haven."

In 1647, "Rhode Island passes a law making sodomy between men a capital offense."

In 1648, "A young soldier in Montreal is charged with `the worst of crimes' interpreted to be sodomy. The Jesuits intervene on the youth's behalf and his sentence to hard labor is commuted on condition that he become New France's first executioner."

In 1649, "In Plymouth, two married women, Sara Norman and Mary Hammon, are charged with `lewd behavior... upon a bed' Hammon, who is fifteen is cleared of the charges, Norman, apparently older is required to acknowledge publicly her unchaste behavior and receives a warning that if there are any subsequent carriages, her punishment will be greater."

In 1656, "New Haven passes a law that punished by death `men lying with men as with women' and women changing `the natural use, into that which is against nature'.", "This law is unique among colonial legislation for its inclusion of women's `unnatural acts.'"

In 1660, "In New Netherland, Jan Quisthout van der Linde is executed by drowning for sodomy."

In 1665, "Conquered by the English in 1664, New Netherland becomes a proprietary colony of the Duke of York. The following year representatives from several towns enact laws that include the death penalty for sodomy between men over the age of fourteen. The law specifies that if `one party were forced' he was exempt from capital punishment."

In 1668, "New Jersey makes sodomy between men a capital crime, exempting children under fourteen and victims of force.", "Plymouth and Connecticut subsequently amend their sodomy laws in 1671 and 1672 to include the same exemptions."

In 1673-77, "Father Jacques Marquette makes his first voyage down the Mississippi River and recounts that `some Illinois (Indians) as well as some Nadouessi, while still young, assume the garb of women and retain it throughout their lives."

In 1680, "New Hampshire passes its first capital laws, including sodomy between men, `unless one party were forced, or were under fourteen years of age'."

In 1682, "The Province of Pennsylvania, a Quaker colony, enacts legislation that makes sodomy by `any person' a noncapital offense - the first American colony to show such `leniency'."

In 1712, "Mingo, a slave of Wait Winthrop, chief justice of Massachusetts, is executed in Charlestown for `forcible buggery'.", "South Carolina legislators include the text of the English `buggery law' of 1533, including its death penalty in their colonial statutes."

In 1718, "Pennsylvania revises its sodomy law, making it a capital offense."

In 1719, "The Delaware Assembly adopts a sodomy law, reproduced from the 1718 Pennsylvania law."

In 1721, "Jesuit explorer Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix notes in the journal that `effeminacy and lewdness were carried to the greatest excess' by the Iroquois, the Illinois, and other Indian nations of the area that would become Louisiana."

In 1776, "Fleury Mesplet, a friend of Benjamin Franklin and a fellow printer, publishes the play Jonathas et David, or Le Triomphe de l'Amitie, which becomes the first book ever printed in Montreal. The play is a three part tragedy describing the thinly veiled homoerotic relationship between Jonathan and David in the Old Testament."

In 1778, "In the newly formed Continental Army, Lieutenant Frederick Gotthold Enslin is court-martialed for `attempting to commit sodomy'."

In 1782, "Deborah Sampson, a descendent of Gov. William Bradford, is excommunicated from the First Baptist Church of Middleborough, Massachusetts for `dressing in men's clothes' and for behaving `very loose and unchristian like.'"

In 1798, "Moreau de St. Merry, a French lawyer and politician, writes that women in Philadelphia, where he has lived for several years, `are not at all strangers to being will to seek unnatural pleasures with persons of their own sex.'"

In 1804-10 "Nicholas Biddle, a member of the Lewis and Clark expeditions, records that `among Minitarees (Indians) if a boy shows any symptoms of effeminacy or girlish inclinations he is put among the girls, dressed in their way, brought up with them & sometimes married to men. The French called them Birdashes.'"

In 1811, "In an account of events at Fort Astoria in the Oregon Territory, Gabriel Franchere makes the first written reference to a female berdache from the Kutenai Indian nation, who dressed as a man and was accompanied by a `wife'."

In 1824-29, "A printed broadside by Louis Dwight is the first known document in the U.S. to discuss homosexuality in the county's prisons."

In 1839, "In Montreal, two boys both apprenticed to a local gilder are discovered in bed together committing sodomy. They are prosecuted, but nothing is known of their fate."

In 1846, "Edward McCosker is dismissed from the New York City Police Department for making `indecent' advances to other men while on duty."

In 1848, "The first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y., passes `Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions. This convention jettisons several probable lesbian and bisexual women into the national limelight, most notably Susan B. Anthony."

In 1860, "Walt Whitman publishes the homoerotic Leaves of Grass, which later inspires numerous gay poets."

In 1860, "Horatio Alger, the author of numerous popular books for boys, is accused by the Unitarian Church of Brewster, Massachusetts, of `practicing' on boys."

In 1870, "Bayard Taylor's Joseph and His Friend, the first U.S. novel to touch on the subject of homosexuality, is published."

In 1886, "A news story in Montreal's La Presse features the earliest available documentation of gay nightlife in the city, when it describes the activity in a nocturnal cruising spot, the Champs-de-Mars, and the arrest of a gay man, through police entrapment."

In 1892, "In Tennessee, Alice Mitchell is tried for the murder of her lover, Freda Ward and judged to be insane." "Two girls were `engaged' and planned to marry, with Alice intending to pass as a man. When the affair was discovered and broken up by Freda's older sister, Alice `could not bear the thought of losing her' and slit Freda's throat in a mad fit of passion."

In 1896, "For the first time on the American stage, two women hug and kiss in a scene of the play A Florida Enchantment. Though the play is not lesbian in content, the scene is so controversial that at intermission, ushers offer ice water to any audience member who feels faint."

In 1897, "Havelock Ellis writes in his famous Sexual Inversion of `the great prevalence of sexual inversion in American cities'. His book is the first to treat homosexuality impartially, but his observations are limited to men."

In 1901, "Influential New York politician Murray Hall dies and is revealed to have been a passing woman."

In 1912, "At Polly Halliday's restaurant in New York City, Heterodoxy, a feminist luncheon club for `unorthodox women' begins meeting bimonthly."

In 1914, "In Portland, Oregon, a dictionary of criminal slang is published, in which the first printed use of the word `faggot' to refer to male homosexuals appears."

In 1916, "The Provincetown Playhouse, the first major off-Broadway theater - is founded in New York's Greenwich Village."

In 1917, "In Montreal, nineteen year old Elsa Gidlow, a budding writer and a lesbian, starts an artists' salon in her parents' home, which welcomes several women writers, a painter, and a gay man named Roswell George Mills, who becomes her mentor."

In 1919, "Dispatching a squad of young enlisted men to act as decoys, the U.S. Navy, under the orders of Asst. Sec. Of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt, initiates a search for `sexual perverts' at the Newport (R.I.) Naval Training Station."

In 1920-35, "Referred to as the Harlem Renaissance, this period witnesses an unprecedented flourishing of African-American culture in the U.S.", "Central to this significant time in African-American history are many gay and lesbian writers, artists, and musicians."

In 1923, "Sholom Asch's God of Vengeance, one of the earliest plays with lesbian content, opens on Broadway."

In 1924, "Henry Gerber and others found the Society for Human Rights in Illinois, believed to be the first homosexual organization in the U.S."

In 1926, "The Captive, another early play with lesbian content, opens on Broadway, starring Helen Menken, then the wife of Humphrey Bogart.",

In 1926, "The journal Fire!, a periodical showcasing the work of Harlem Renaissance writers, publishes its first and only issue. Included is the erotic narrative poem `Smoke, Lilies and Jade', by Bruce Nugent, which is the first published piece about homosexuality by an African-American writer."

In 1927, "Written and produced by Mae West, The Drag, the first play with gay male content to be produced in the U.S., debuts in Connecticut on its way to Broadway."

In 1929, "New York publisher Covici-Friede is convicted of obscenity for publishing Radclyffe Hall's lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness. The conviction is later appealed and overturned."

In 1930, "Hollywood studios enact the Motion Picture Production Code, prohibiting all references to homosexuality or `sexual perversion' in the movies."

In 1934, "Despite the Padlock Bill, Lillian Hellman's play The Children's Hour, about two teachers accused by a student of being lesbians, opens on Broadway."

In 1942, "The U.S. military issues further official prohibition against homosexuals in the armed forces."

In 1942, "The book A Generation of Vipers, by Philip Wylie, is published, coining the word `Momism' to blame American mothers for overprotecting their sons and raising `unmasculine' boys unfit for military service."

In 1942, "In Los Angeles, Jim Kepner begins his private collection of gay-related books, clippings, photographs and artifacts, which later becomes the International Gay and Lesbian Archive, the oldest and largest in North America. The archive opens to the public in 1979."

In 1947, "The pseudonymous Lisa Ben (an anagram for `lesbian') begins publishing Vice Versa, the first U.S. lesbian magazine in Los Angeles."

In 1948, "The Kinsey Institute publishes its ground breaking study of sexual behavior in American men."

In 1951, "Harry Hay, Chuck Rowland, and others form the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles, one of the first gay organizations in the U.S. and forerunner of the current gay liberation movement."

In 1952, "The U.S. Congress enacts a law banning lesbian and gay foreigners from entering the country. The legislation is on the books until its repeal in 1990."

In 1952, "George Jorgensen, a former sergeant in the U.S. Army, undergoes his famous sex-change operation in Denmark, becoming Christine Jorgensen.", "The magazine ONE, designed to air gay and lesbian opinions and concerns to the public, begins publication in Los Angeles."

In 1952, "The Kinsey Institute publishes its second historic study on human sexuality, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female."

In 1952, "Dr. Evelyn Hooker begins her historic study of the male homosexual personality. In the late 1950s she publishes the findings of her research in a series of monographs, reporting that she can find no signs of maladjustment in homosexual men's personalities."

In 1954, "The Los Angeles postmaster seizes copies of ONE magazine and refuses to mail them, on the grounds that they are `obscene, lewd, lascivious and filthy.'"

In 1955, "The Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian organization in the U.S., is founded in San Francisco by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon."

In 1956, "The Ladder, the official magazine of the Daughters of Bilitis, begins publication."

In 1957, "The American Civil Liberties Union adopts a national policy statement that sustains the constitutionality of state sodomy laws and federal security regulations denying employment to gay men and lesbians. The ACLU finally reverses this policy in 1964."

In 1960, "The first national lesbian conference, a convention of the Daughters of Bilitis is held in San Francisco."

In 1961, "Illinois becomes the first state to abolish its laws against consensual homosexual sex."

In 1964, "The first homosexual rights demonstration in New York City takes place."

In 1964, "Jane Rule publishes her first lesbian novel, Desert of the Heart, which becomes an instant classic and is made into the popular movie Desert Hearts in 1985"

In 1964, "The earliest known homosexual rights button is produced for the Washington, D.C. conference of East Coast Homophile Organizations."

In 1964, "Two magazine, whose name was inspired by the U.S. magazine One, begins publication and continues publishing until 1966. It is the first gay magazine in Canada."

In 1964, "The Association for Social Knowledge the oldest know homophile organization in Canada, is formed in Vancouver."

In 1965, "The Mattachine Society leads a picket in front of the White House, protesting the government's discriminatory employment practices."

In 1966, "The National Organization for Women is founded in New York."

In 1966, "The SIR Center (Society for Individual Rights) opens in San Francisco, the first gay community center in North America."

In 1966, "ASK Community Center opens in Vancouver, Canada, to `serve the homosexual community.' It is the first gay community center in Canada."

In 1967, "The Advocate, the oldest continuing gay publication in the U.S. begins publishing in Los Angeles."

In 1967, "The Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, the oldest gay bookstore in the U.S. opens in New York City on Mercer Street. In 1973 the store relocates to its current site at the junction of Christopher and Gay Streets."

In 1967, "John Herbert's play about homosexuality in the Canadian prison system, Fortune and Men's Eyes, is published in Toronto."

In 1967, "In San Francisco, a group of radical gays form the Circle of Loving Companions and begin publishing a monthly called Vanguard."

In 1969, "In late June, when plainclothes police raid the Stonewall Inn in New York's Greenwich village, they meet violent resistance from gay patrons of the bar and people on the street, including transvestites, butch lesbians and gay teenagers. The weekend of riots is now viewed as the start of the modern gay liberation movement."

In 1969, "Taking its name from the National Liberation Front in Vietnam, the Gay Liberation Front is founded in New York by participants in the Stonewall riots and others in the gay community as an ongoing militant political action group."

In 1969, "Time magazine's `The Homosexual in America' becomes the first cover story on gay rights in a national magazine."

In 1969, "Gay Power becomes the first gay newspaper to appear after the Stonewall Riots."

In 1969, "Amendments to the Canadian criminal code take effect, legalizing private sexual acts between consenting adults over the age of twenty- one."

In 1969, "The University of Toronto Homophile Association the first gay liberation organization in Canada, begins meeting."

In 1970, "The first legislative hearings on gay rights in the U.S. are convened in New York City by three New York State Assembly members."

In 1970, "The first march to commemorate the Stonewall riots is held in New York."

In 1970, "Catalyst Press, the first gay press in Canada, is launched in Toronto by Ian Young and publishes its first book, Cool Fire, by Young and Richard Phelan."

In 1970, "Radicalesbians, a New York based group of lesbian-feminists who split from the Gay Liberation Front, publish the manifesto `The Woman-Identified Woman' which defines a lesbian as `the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion."

In 1970, "The first lesbian/feminist bookstore in the U.S., Amazon Bookstore in Minneapolis, opens for business. Also that year, A Women's Place bookstore is started in Oakland, California."

In 1970, "Robin Morgan publishes her compilation Sisterhood is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement."

In 1971, "The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center is founded."

In 1971, "The Furies, a lesbian-feminist separatist collective, is founded by lesbian activists fed up with mainstream women's organizations like the National Organization for Women."

In 1971, "NOW approves its first resolution supporting lesbian rights."

In 1971, "The American Library Association begins awarding an annual Gay Book Award. The first goes to Isabel Miller for her novel Patience and Sarah."

In 1971, "A full ten years after Illinois, Connecticut becomes the second state to repeal its sodomy laws."

In 1971, "The first francophone gay organization in Canada, Front de liberation homosexual, is formed in Montreal, sponsoring rap groups and organizing the first gay dances in the city."

In 1971, "The `We Demand' brief-sponsored by Canadian gay groups and calling for legal reform and changes in public policy relating to homosexuals- is presented to the federal government. The first public gay demonstration in Canada takes place a week later on parliament Hill in support of the brief."

In 1972, "The U.S. Senate approves the Equal Rights Amendment which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, and sends the bill to the state assemblies for ratification. The ERA is defeated in 1982."

In 1972, "A U.S. District Judge rules that the Civil Service Commission cannot discriminate against gay employees unless it can prove that being gay would interfere with their jobs."

In 1972, "The first gay synagogue in the U.S., Beth Chayim Chadashim in Los Angeles is founded."

In 1972, "The first Canadian nonfiction book on homosexuality, A Not So Gay Word: Homosexuality in Canada, is published."

In 1972, "East Lansing, Michigan, becomes the first city in the U.S. to

ban antigay bias in city hiring."

In 1972, "William Johnson becomes the first openly gay man to be ordained as a minister by a major religious denomination, the United Church of Christ, in California."

In 1972, "The first issue of The Other Woman, a predominantly lesbian-feminist publication is produced in Toronto."

In 1972, "Toronto Gay Action organizes its first Gay Pride Week, August 19-27."

In 1973, "The Supreme Court of the U.S. rules in Roe v. Wade that constitutional privacy rights include a woman's right to a first trimester abortion. Twenty years later, Norma McCorvey, a lesbian, reveals herself as `Jane Roe'."

In 1973, "Under the auspices of the YWCA, the first national lesbian conference in Canada is held in Toronto, and Montreal Gay Women is founded as a separatist group the same year. Shortly after, the first lesbian journal in Canada, Long Time Coming, begins publication in Montreal."

In 1973, "The Toronto City Council passes a resolution banning discrimination in municipal hiring on the basis of sexual orientation, the first such legislation in North America."

In 1973, "The National Gay Task Force, a civil rights group, is founded in New York by activists Martin Duberman, Ron Gold, Barbara Gittings, Frank Kameny, Dr. Howard Brown, Bruce Voeller and Nathalie Rockhill."

In 1973, "The Canadian Gay Archives is founded by The Body Politic, with the newspaper's back files as a foundation."

In 1973, "Gay Community News is founded in Boston and is the only lesbian and gay news weekly in the U.S. at that time."

In 1973, "The first pan-Canadian conference of gay organizations, hosted by Centre humanitaire d'aide et de liberation is held in Quebec City."

In 1973, "Daughters, Inc., a lesbian-feminist publishing house founded by June Arnold and Parke Bowman publishes the first edition of Rita Mae Brown's Rubfruit Jungle, which is later sold to Bantam Books as a mass-market paperback."

In 1973, "Naiad Press is started in Florida by Barbara Grier and Donna McBride. Naiad is now the oldest surviving lesbian book publisher in North America."

In 1973, "Olivia Records, the leader in women's music, is founded by a lesbian-feminist collective. The company cuts its first single a year later, with Meg Christian on one side and Cris Williamson on the other."

In 1973, "The American Psychiatric Association decides that homosexuality should no longer be classified as a mental disorder."

In 1973, "The Lesbian Herstory Archives is started in New York City, housed in the apartment of founders Joan Nestle and Deborah Edel and taking as its mission the preservation of the lives and works of all lesbians."

In 1973, "The American Bar Association passes a resolution recommending the repeal of all state sodomy laws."

In 1973, "The Supreme Court of the U.S. restricts the availability of sexually explicit material in two rulings, Miller v. California and Paris Adult Theater I v. Slaton. The rulings allow local communities to define obscenity and eliminate a national standard."

In 1973, "Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund is founded as a nonprofit gay law firm dedicated to obtaining gay civil rights through the courts."

In 1974, "HR-14752, a bill to prohibit antigay discrimination across the U.S., the first of its kind in history, is introduced into the House of Representatives by Bella Abzug and Edward Koch. The bill seeks to add protections for gays to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.", "Communidad Orgullo Gay, the first gay and lesbian organization on the island of Puerto Rico, is founded to work for the repeal of the sodomy laws included in the New Penal Code under consideration by the legislature.", "In Milton, Ontario, fundamentalist minister Ken Campbell, outraged by members of a local gay group addressing his daughter's high school class, forms the Halton Renaissance Committee, the forerunner of Renaissance Canada, which would become one of the strongest organizations opposing gay rights in Canada.", "Lesbian Connection, now the largest circulation lesbian periodical in the U.S., begins publication in East Lansing, Michigan, by the Ambitions Amazons collective.", "Elaine Noble, elected to the Massachusetts state legislature, becomes the first openly gay elected official in the U.S."

In 1975, "Santa Cruz County, California, becomes the first U.S. county to ban antigay discrimination.", "Consenting Adult, Laura Z. Hobson's ground breaking novel about a gay teenage boy, is published.", "In Canada, a joint parliamentary committee on immigration policy recommends that homosexuals no longer be prohibited from entering Canada under the revised Immigration Act."

In 1976, "The lesbian-feminist journal Conditions is founded in New York by Elly Bulkin, Jan Clausen, Irena Klepfisz and Rima Shore. The journal is dedicated to publishing the work of lesbians, particularly working class lesbians and lesbians of color.", "Montreal police launch a series of raids on gay bars designed to `clean up' the city before the opening of the summer Olympics. The largest gay demonstration to date, organized by Committee homosexual anti-repression/Gay Coalition against Repression, is held to protest the raids.", "In Rose v. Locke, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that cunnilingus is covered by Tennessee's `crimes against nature' statue even though it is not expressly mentioned there.", "The first Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, a celebration of lesbian culture, includes musical performances by Holly Near, Linda Tillery, and Maxine Feldman.", Armistead Maupin begins serializing his famous `Tales of the City' in the San Francisco Chronicle.", "The Lesbian Organization of Toronto is founded, with its first priority the establishment of a lesbian center."

In 1977, "Voters in Dade County, Florida, repeal a gay rights law by a two to one margin. The fight to repeal is led by fundamentalist singer, orange juice industry spokesperson and former Miss America contestant Anita Bryant.", "Toronto police raid the offices of The Body Politic, Canada's leading gay newspaper, seizing records, manuscripts and subscription lists. The newspaper is charged with using the mail service to distribute `indecent' material.", "The Women's Archives is formed in Toronto to preserve and record Canadian women's history.", "The Combahee River Collective, an African-American lesbian-feminist group, publishes `A Black Feminist Statement' a historic manifesto that puts forth a political analysis recognizing the interconnectedness of oppressions based on identity.", "Coop-femmes, the first francophone lesbian group in Canada, is founded in Montreal.", "Senior Action in a Gay Environment is founded in New York to serve the social and political needs of older lesbians and gay men.", "The province of Quebec amends its provincial Charter of Human Rights, adding lesbians and gay men to the list of those protected, thus banning antigay discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations."

In 1978, "The U.S. Supreme Court, in Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation, approves restrictions on broadcast material that is `indecent', but not `obscene'. The case will be used to block the broadcast of gay themed programs.", "San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, an out gay man, and Mayor George Moscone are murdered by Dan White.", "The rainbow flag, which will become one of the most prominent symbols of lesbian and gay pride, is designed by Gilbert Baker in San Francisco and flown in the Gay Freedom Day Parade there.", "An hour long radio program, `Gay News and Views' begins airing on an Ontario station, the first regularly scheduled gay radio program in Canada.", "Dancer from the Dance, by Andrew Holleran, is published and is now considered a classic novel about white gay male life and culture before AIDS.", "Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, New England's non-profit, public interest gay and lesbian law foundation is founded in Boston by John Ward, Richard Burns, Cindy Rizzo and others.", "California voters defeat the Briggs Initiative, which would have barred lesbians and gay men from teaching in the state's public schools."

In 1979, "The first national March on Washington for gay and Lesbian Civil Rights draws over one hundred thousands marchers.", "Dan White is acquitted of first degree murder in the deaths of Harvey Milk and George Moscone and convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter. His lawyer successfully argues that White's mental capacity was diminished by his excessive consumption of Twinkies and other junk food. In 1985, White is released from prison and then kills himself.", "Conditions Magazine publishes the ground breaking `Black Women's Issue' later the basis for the anthology Home Girls, one of the first titles from Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press.", "The first issue of the francophone journal Le Berdache is published in Montreal.", "The U.S. Mint issues the Susan B. Anthony dollar, named for the noted feminist and probable lesbian.", "Fundamentalist minister Jerry Falwell founds the Moral Majority in Lynchburg, Virginia. The organization lists as its goals opposition to the abortion, feminism, pornography, communism and gay rights.", "Stephen Lachs becomes the first openly gay judge in the U.S., reappointed to the Superior Court of Los Angeles."

In 1980, "The Gay Community Appeal of Toronto is incorporated and begins plans to launch the first United Way-type fundraising drive for a gay organization in North America.", "Alyson Publications, the largest gay press in the U.S. is founded in Boston by gay activist Sasha Alyson.", "Mel Boozer, an African-American gay man, becomes the first openly gay person to have his name placed in nomination as a candidate at the Democratic National Convention. As a vice-presidential nominee, he addresses the convention.", "The Canadian Union of Postal Workers ratifies a contract that includes a nondiscrimination clause protecting gay people. This is the first time gay employees of a federal government anywhere in the world are awarded such protection.", "The Toronto Board of Education amends its policy to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but adds a clause forbidding `proselytizing of homosexuality in the schools'.", "The Fifth Canadian Binational Lesbian Conference draws women from across Canada and results in the organization of Canada's first lesbian pride march."

In 1981, "The U.S. Department of Defense revises its policy on lesbians and gays in the military. The new policy bars gay people from serving in the military and requires that questions about sexual orientation be asked of all recruits.", "Toronto police undertake a massive raid on gay bathhouses and arrest over three hundred men. It is the largest mass arrest in Canadian history and the largest mass arrest of gay men in North America. The arrests generate a riot that has been called the Canadian Stonewall.", "The New York Times reports the first cases of Kaposi's sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in forty-one gay men. In addition, the CDC make known the growing number of cases of pneumocystis carinii pneumonia among gay men.", "A new Kinsey Institute study reports that neither parental nor societal influences have much effect on a person's sexual orientation.", "Governor Jerry Brown of California appoints Mary Morgan to the state supreme court, making her the first openly lesbian judge.", "Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, the first publishing house in North America devoted to producing works by women of color, is founded in New York by Barbara Smith, Audre Lorde, Cherie Moraga and a group of other writers and activists.", "The first lesbian pride march in Toronto, Dykes in the Streets, is sponsored by Lesbians against the Right.", "A group of Los Angeles parents form the support group Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gay Men to help one another and to help combat society's homophobia against gay people.", "Marilyn Barnett files a `galimony' suit against her former employer and lover, tennis champion Billie Jean King. King says she is straight but doesn't deny the affair.", "The New York City Gay Men's Chorus becomes the first gay musical group to perform at Carnegie Hall. A year later, Meg Christian and Cris Williamson become the first out lesbians to play there."

In 1982, "Wisconsin becomes the first state to enact statewide gay rights legislation.", "A Los Angeles man files a palimony suit against entertainer Liberace, who denies that he is gay.", "The first Gay Games are held in San Francisco, with 1,300 participants from twelve countries.", "Gay Related Immune Disorder acquires the new name of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.", "Gay men in New York found Gay Men's Health Crisis, a social service and education agency, to deal with the growing concern over the spread of AIDS among gay men.", "The first Montreal lesbian publications in french, Amazones d'hier, Lesbiennes d'aujord'hui and Ca s'attrape are circulated.", "Byton High in Philadelphia, the first gay high school in the U.S., is started as an alternative to the public school system.", "The province of Quebec passes legislation giving homosexual relationships equal status with heterosexual ones."

In 1983, "Representative Gerry Studds declares on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives that he is gay.", "Howard Cruse's gay comic strip `Wendel' first appears in The Advocate. Alison Bechdel's comic strip `Dykes to Watch Out For' is first published in New York's Womanews.", "Les Archives gaies du Quebec opens in Montreal with the mission of collecting books, manuscripts, magazines and newspapers, photographs, films and objects related to gay life in the province.", "A group of lesbian and gay activists acquire a former public high school building from the city of New York, and the Lesbian Gay Community Services Center is born. The following year, the building is purchased for $1.5 million."

In 1984, "San Francisco Health Department head Mervyn Silverman closes fourteen gay bathhouses after investigators uncover high-risk sexual behavior in them.", "Government officials announce the discovery of the `probable cause' of AIDS, then known as HTLV-III but soon to be renamed HIV.", "Berkely, California, becomes the first city in the U.S. to extend domestic partnership benefits to lesbian and gay city employees.", "West Hollywood incorporates as a municipality and elects a largely gay city council and a lesbian mayor."

In 1985, "After repeated denials, movie and television actor Rock Hudson finally issues a public statement that he has AIDS and dies three months later.", "A test for HIV antibodies is licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowing for the testing of both individuals and the existing blood supplies.", "The Democratic Party votes to drop official recognition of some caucuses, including the Gay and Lesbian Caucus.", "Canadian customs bans The Joy of Gay Sex one of many such instances of censorship by the Canadian government.", "More than a hundred well-known women, including Lily Tomlin, Yoko Ono, Joanne Woodward and Joyce Carol Oates, sign a Ms. Magazine `Petition for Freedom of Sexual Choice' condemning all government attempts to interfere in the `sexual lives of consenting adults.", "Angered by the media's poor coverage of the AIDS epidemic, a group of New York activists found the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation during a meeting at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center. GLAAD serves as a watchdog on the presentation of lesbians and gay men in Hollywood and the media.", "The Harvey Milk School, a public high school for lesbian and gay youth is started in New York City as a collaborative project of the Hetrick-Martin Institute a social service agency for gay youth and the city's public school system."

In 1986, "The province of Ontario, Canada, passes a gay rights ordinance.", "In Bowers v. Hardwick, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of Georgia's sodomy law. In Atlanta in 1982 police tried to serve Michael Hardwick at home with a warrant for a traffic violation and found him having sex with another man. Hardwick was arrested for sodomy and his appeal went all the way to the Supreme Court.", "The U.S. Public Health Service releases the experimental drug AZT to people with PCP.", "The U.S. Justice Department ends its policy of asking prospective federal prosecutors if they are gay.", "Californians reject an initiative that calls for the quarantine of people with AIDS."

In 1987, "Delta Airlines apologizes for arguing in plane crash litigation that it should pay less in compensation for the life a gay passenger than for a heterosexual one because he may have had AIDS.", "The second national March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights draws approximately a half million participants.", "President Reagan undergoes testing for HIV when he becomes concerned about the blood transfusions he received when he was shot in 1981. According to a White House spokesperson, he tests negative.", "Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank tells an interviewer in the Boston Globe that he is gay.", "Robert Bork, who openly opposes gay rights, is rejected as a candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court.", "Vermont becomes the first state to distribute condoms to prison inmates.", "At a meeting at the New York Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center, activist Larry Kramer and others start the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, a direct action group whose purpose is to draw public and government attention to the need for AIDS funding and research.", "The Lambda Book Report begins publication, the first journal devoted to reviews of works by lesbian and gay writers."

In 1988,"The first World AIDS Day, organized by the World Health Organization is held.", "On October 11, the first anniversary of the historic 1987 lesbian and gay march on Washington, National Coming Out Day is first celebrated, set aside as a day when gay people can each make a step toward coming completely out of the closet.", "Citizens of Oregon repeal a ban on antigay job discrimination, paving the way for the antigay initiatives in Oregon in the early 1990s.", "In Canada, sodomy and anal intercourse between consenting adults over eighteen are eliminated as criminal offenses.", "President Reagan's newly founded National AIDS Commission releases a report with over five hundred recommendations for addressing the epidemic. A presidential advisor reduces the list to ten items.", "OUT/LOOK, a national lesbian and gay magazine of politics and culture, begins quarterly publication.", "Democrat Svend Robinson becomes the first member of the Canadian Parliament to come out as gay."

In 1989, "In Watkins v. U.S. Army, a federal court orders the reinstatement of Perry Watkins, who had been dismissed from the service because he was gay.", "The U.S. Supreme Court, in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, rules that the accounting form violated sex discrimination laws by dismissing a woman for `masculine behavior'.", "The Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington, D.C., cancels a retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs after the exhibit is attacked by Senator Jesse Helms and others for its homoerotic content. The director of the gallery resigns and in the ensuing brouhaha, Mapplethorpe's name becomes a household word, synonymous with artistic censorship.", "The first annual Lambda Literary Awards for excellence in lesbian and gay writing are held at the American Booksellers Association convention in Washington, D.C.", "Mayor Ed Koch dedicates `Stonewall Place' in New York City to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the event.", "The U.S. Post Office issues a lesbian and gay pride postmark, commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots and featuring the artwork of gay artist Keith Harving.", "San Francisco's Maud's `the world's oldest lesbian bar', closes after twenty three years.", "Massachusetts becomes the second state to pass a gay civil rights law.", "Over five thousand ACT UP activists stage a massive protest in front of and inside New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral, rallying against the Catholic Church's negative policies on homosexuality and AIDS."

In 1990, "Cincinnati Museum of Art director Dennis Barrie is charged and acquitted of obscenity for booking a traveling exhibit of homoerotic photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe.", "The American s with Disabilities Act, which also prohibits AIDS based discrimination is signed into law.", "During President Bush's first major address on AIDS, NGLTF Executive Director Urvashi Vaid interrupts his speech and protests his inactivity. She is escorted outside.", "Queer Nation-an in your face direct action group with the rallying cry `We're here, we're queer, get used to it - is founded in New York City at a meeting at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center.", "The Astraea Foundation changes its name to the Astraea National Lesbian Action foundation, becoming the first national foundation to fund lesbian cultural and social-change projects exclusively.", "During Lesbian and Gay Pride weekend in June, the top of the Empire State Building is lit up in lavender for the first time.", "In an unprecedented move, National Endowment for the Arts Chair John Frohnmayer revokes grants already awarded by a peer panel to four solo theater artists citing his rationale `political realities' but the artists cry censorship and their `defunding' becomes a cause celebre in the lesbian and gay arts community.", "Philip Morris - particularly its products Miller Beer and Marlboro cigarettes - becomes the object of a national gay boycott, to protest the company's alleged funding of the campaign of virulently antigay senator Jesse Helms."

In 1991, "The Minnesota Court of Appeals awards guardianship of Sharon Kowalski, a lesbian severely injured in a car crash, to her lover, Karen Thompson, over the objections of Kowalski's parents.", "Patricia Ireland, executive director of the National Organization for Women admits to having a female lover - in addition to a husband.", "The Advocate outs Department of Defense spokesperson Pete Williams.", "Lesbian poet, teacher, and activist Audre Lorde is named Poet Laureate of New York State.", "Tongues Untied', Marlon Riggs's documentary about African -American gay men, airs on PBS and draws complaints to the FCC from some homophobic viewers.", "Dr. Simon LeVay releases a controversial study suggesting a biological influence for sexual orientation, widely referred to as `the gay brain'.", "The first Black Gay and Lesbian Pride March is held in Washington, D.C."

In 1992, "Aileen Wuornos, the first lesbian serial killer in the U.S. is sentenced to death in Florida.", "Canadian country and pop star k.d. lang becomes the first major female recording artist to come out as a lesbian.", "Democratic candidate Bill Clinton, in his acceptance of his nomination for president, mentions gay people in his speech - the first time a presidential candidate has done so at the convention.", "Roberta Achtenberg, a lesbian member of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, Bob Hattoy, a member of Clinton's campaign staff and a gay man with AIDS, and Elizabeth Glaser, an HIV positive heterosexual woman address the Democratic National Convention in New York.", "The Republican National Convention in Miami is a gay bashing travesty filled with the rhetoric of family values. However, Mary Fisher an HIV positive woman, is permitted to address the convention.", "The first National Lesbian Conference designed as a strategy-building meeting for lesbian liberation, draws 2,500 participants to Atlanta.", "Lesbian Avengers, International, a direct action group dedicated to fighting lesbian oppression, is launched by activists Anne Christine d'Adesky, Marie Honan, Anne Maguire, Sarah Schulman, Anna Maria Simo and Maxine Wolfe at a meeting at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York.", "The first U.S. governor to do so, William Weld of Massachusetts, signs an executive order granting lesbian and gay state workers the same bereavement and family leave rights as heterosexual workers.", "The Canadian government releases documents that show that the Canadian Mounted Police spied on gay men in Ottawa during the Cold War period, creating files against them and purging hundreds from government jobs.", "Antigay initiatives are introduced in Oregon and Colorado. After bitter fights, the Colorado initiative passes and the more harshly worded Oregon one is rejected.", "Canada lifts its ban on lesbians and gays in the military.", "In a decision historic for all of North America, the Canadian immigration service grants immigrant status to an Irish lesbian whose lover is a Canadian citizen.", "The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announces that almost 1,900 incidents of antigay assaults, murder, vandalism, and threats were reported this year, up 4 percent from 1991.", "The Canadian YMCA board of directors reluctantly extends family membership discounts to lesbian and gay couples.", "New Jersey, Vermont, and California enact statewide bans on antigay discrimination.", "Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards issues an executive order banning antigay discrimination in state agencies, making his the first state int he southeast to do so."

In 1993, "President Bill Clinton directs the secretary of defense to investigate the possibility of drafting an executive order to overturn the 1981 ban on gays in the military. However, encountering fierce opposition from Congress, Clinton settles for a `don't ask, don't tel' compromise, which does not significantly change the earlier ban.", "The March on Washington for Gay, Lesbian, and Bi Equal Rights attracts an estimated 750,000 participants to the capital.", "Organized by the Lesbian Avengers, the first International Dyke March is held the evening before the March on Washington.", "A federally funded survey by the Battelle Human Affairs Research Centers concludes that only 2.3 percent of U.S. men have had sex with other men, and only 1.1 percent consider themselves exclusively homosexual. The Christian right jumps on the findings to say that homosexuality is a `behavioral oddity' and that gays do not deserve `protected status'.", "For the first time in a Canadian province, the Ontario Human Rights Commission rules that a lesbian, Jan Waterman, was fired from her job because of her sexual orientation. She receives $27,000 in compensation from the National Life Assurance and two of its employees.", "Hawaii Supreme Court rules that a lower court improperly dismissed a lawsuit challenging a state policy of denying marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. The court rules that the prohibition of same-sex marriages constitutes sex discrimination and is probably unconstitutional. The decision sparks hope that same-sex marriages will eventually be made legal in Hawaii.", "After months of futile negotiations with the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization is once again excluded from New York's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.", "Voters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Lewiston, Maine approve antigay ballot measures.", "After a fierce struggle over a proposed multicultural, gay-tolerant curriculum for New York City schools, the city Board of Education does not renew the contract of public schools chancellor Joseph Fernandez who had backed the progressive curriculum.", "After a bitter debate in which Senator Jesse Helms calls her a `damned lesbian', Roberta Achtenberg is approved by the Senate as assistant housing secretary, becoming the highest ranking out lesbian in the U.S. government.", "The commission of Cobb County, Georgia, sets a dangerous precedent by voting unanimously to cease its arts related funding for fear that it might be subsidizing lesbian and gay art and artists.", "A twenty nine cent stamp depicting a red ribbon and the words `AIDS Awareness is issued by the U.S. Post Office.", "In a nationwide survey, fifty five percent of all Canadians consider homosexuality `morally acceptable'.", "Navy airman Terry Helvey is court martialed for the brutal murder of a gay shipmate, Allen Schindler.", "After months of criticism from activists, President Clinton appoints the first `AIDS czar' Kristine Gebbie. She is widely criticized by AIDS activists for her low profile and lack of experience and is forced to resign the following year. In her place, Clinton names Patsy Fleming, an African American woman with a gay son who considers herself an AIDS activist."

In 1994, "A bill that would prohibit antigay employment discrimination is introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives.", "The Virginia Court of Appeals overturns a lower court ruling that stripped lesbian Sharon Bottoms of custody of her two year old son on the basis of her sexual orientation.", "The first Latina Lesbian Leadership and Self Empowerment Conference is held in Tucson, Arizona.", "In Boston, organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Parade cancel the event rather than comply with a court order allowing the Irish American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group to participate.", "Straight actor Tom Hanks wins an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of a gam man with AIDS in Philadelphia.", "The United Nations revokes the consultative status granted the International Lesbian and Gay Association in 1993, ostensibly because of claims that some of its members are affiliated with pedophile groups, most notably the North American Man-Boy Love Association.", "Openly gay choreographer Bill T. Jones and openly lesbian poet Adrienne Rich are recipients of MacArthur Foundation `genius' awards.", "Gay Games IV attracts approximately fifteen thousand participants in New York City.", "Stonewall 25 draws 1.1 million marchers in New York City, for the silver anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.", "The Tenth International Conference of AIDS convenes in Yokohama, Japan, attracting fewer activists than in past years.", "In the national midterm elections, Republicans, with major backing from the homophobic Christian right, take over the majority in both houses of the U.S. Congress and win gubernatorial elections in many large states, in a sweep that threatens the future of lesbian and gay civil rights in the U.S.", "At the Virginia Slims women's tennis tournament in New York City, Martina Navratilova, nine time Wimbledon singles champion and arguably the greatest woman tennis player of all time, plays her last professional singles match and loses to Gabriela Sabatini.", "The American Medical Association finally adopts a statement removing all references to `sexual orientation related disorders' from its official policy which has been used for years to justify `therapies' for `treating' homosexuality.", "The National Association of Lesbian and Gay Community Centers is founded by the centers in New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Denver and Dallas."

In 1995, "British actor Nigel Hawthorne becomes the first openly gay Best Actor nominee in the history of the Academy Awards.", "In what he claims is an honest `slip' Rep. Dick Armey refers to openly gay Congressman Barney Frank as `Barney Fag'. Armey is not reprimanded, denies responsibility and will not acknowledge that using the epithet `fag' is injurious to gay people.", "Four time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis considered by many to be the greatest diver of all time, reveals in a television interview with Barbara Walters on 20/20 that he has AIDS.", "Rhode Island becomes the ninth state to pass a statewide gay rights bill protecting lesbians and gay men in housing, public employment, credit and public accommodations.", "Wearing a red ribbon, Cherry Jones becomes the first out lesbian to win a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play, for her role in The Heiress."



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