LGBT Timeline

By: Sarah Kroth |

1969 The Stonewall Riots, credited as the birth of the modern LGBT rights movement
1973 The APA removes homosexuality from its list of mental illness
1978 Harvey Milk is sworn in as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and sponsors a civil rights bill that outlaws sexual orientation discrimination.
1978 Harvey Milk, and Mayor George Mascone are assassinated
1979 75,000 people participated in the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Washington, D.C.
1980 National Convention on August 11-14, Democrats become the first political party to endorse a homosexual rights platform
1981 The first reports of AIDS are made in connection with the LGBT community
1982 Wisconsin becomes the first state to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
1993 The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is put into effect.
1996 In the Romer v. Evans decision, the United States Supreme Court decides that Colorado’s 2nd amendment, denying gays and lesbians protections against discrimination, is unconstitutional
1996 President Clinton signs the “Defense of Marriage Act” into law
1998 Coretta Scott King, widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., calls on the civil rights community to join the struggle against homophobia
2000 Vermont becomes the first state in the U.S. to legalize civil unions and registered partnerships between same-sex couples
2003 In Lawrence v. Texas the U.S. Supreme Court rules that sodomy laws in the U.S. are unconstitutional
2004 Same-sex marriages become legal in Massachusetts
2007 The House of Representatives approves a bill ensuring equal rights in the workplace for gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals.
2008 Connecticut and California legalize same-sex marriage
2009 Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia legalize same-sex marriage
2009 California passes Proposition 8, banning gay marriage
2010 Congress repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, allowing gays to openly serve in the military
2011 New York legalizes same-sex marriage
2012 Washington, Maryland, and Maine legalize same-sex marriage
2013 The US Supreme Court, in United States v. Windsor rules that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, and over turns California’s Proposition 8
2013 Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, and New Mexico legalize same-sex marriage, making it legal in 17 states, and D.C.

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