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For current GLBT news, visit Advocate.com
|| First legislative hearings on Gay Rights by three
members of the New York Assembly
|| NOW (National Organization for Women) kicks
out Rita Mae Brown and other lesbians
|| Amazon Bookstore, the first American Lesbian-Feminist
bookstore, opens in Minneapolis
|| Lesbian-Feminist Seperatist collective The Furies
founded by dissatisfied ex-members of NOW Joan Biren, Charlotte
Bunch, Rita Mae Brown and Helaine Harris
|| One year after expelling lesbians, NOW acknowledges
|| East Lansing, Michigan is first city to ban sexual-orientation
discrimination in city hiring
|| Camille Mitchell, an open lesbian, is first to win
custody of children in disputed divorce case. Judge restricts
Mitchell from co-habitating with lover
|| Supreme Court rules in the Roe vs. Wade case
in favor of a woman's right to first tri-mester abortion
|| Naiad Press, Lesbian book publishers, started by Barbara
Grier and Donna McBride
|| Two Army WACs, Gail Bates and Valerie Randolph, married
by publicity hound Reverand Ray Broshears in San Francisco. As
a result, both discharged from military
|| Olivia Records founded by Lesbian collective and releases
first single featuring Meg Christian and Cris Williamson
|| The first bill to prohibit discrimination against
Gays and Lesbians, HR-14752, introduced to House of Representatives
by Bella Abzug and Ed Koch
|| Kathy Kozachenko is the first openly gay candidate
elected. (To the Ann Arbor, Micigan City Council.)
|| Elaine Noble becomes first openly gay candidate elected
to state (Massachusetts) legislature
|| Homosexuality removed from list of mental disorders
by American Psychiatric Association
|| Reverand Ellen Barrett is first out Lesbian to be
ordained priest (Episcopal.)
|| Jimmy Carter presidential administration receives
first Lesbian and Gay delegation
|| Fundamentalist Anita Bryant leads campaign to (successfully)
repeal Gay Rights law in Dade County, Florida
|| Gilbert Baker designs the Rainbow Flag to fly in the
San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade
|| The first National March on Washington for Gay and
Lesbian Rights draws between 100,000 200,000 marchers. (and
Swade was there!)
|| First reports of Kaposi's Sarcoma affecting
41 Gay men
|| Kinsey releases study reporting neither parental or
societal influences in individual sexual orientation
|| California Governor Jerry Brown appoints first openly
gay judge, Mary Morgan, to San Francisco Municipal Court
|| The Gay Games first held in San Francisco with 1300
participants from twelve countries
|| Coretta Scott King and other black leaders announce
support of gay civil rights
|| Karen Thompson fights parents of her lover, Sharon
Kowalski, who is paralyzed from auto accident, for right to care
||Unitarian Church votes to recognize Gay and Lesbian
||Berkeley becomes first city in US to institute Domestic
Partner policy for city employees
|| US Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of
Georgia's sodomy law in the finding from the 1982 appeal filed by
|| Dramatizing the lack of rights for same-sex couples,
During the October 600,000 member March on Washington D.C., approximately
2,000 same-sex couples marry in a mass wedding on the steps of the
||The first country to do so, Sweden legislates protection
for gays and lesbians regarding taxes, inheritances and social services
|| Lambda Delta Lambda, a lesbian UCLA sorority, makes
national news.  Its constitution states goals to promote
awareness of women's, minorities' and gay issues
|| Two separate studies by US Department of Defense conclude
no reason to ban gays and lesbians from military service
||Denmark first country to legalize gay marriage
||Sergeant Miriam ben-Shalom wins decade-long battle
challenging her discharge from US Army on grounds of lesbianism. Becomes
first open lesbian ever re-enlisted. (Decision overturned
by Supreme Court when military appealed)
|| Lesbian filmmaker, Debra Chasnoff, receives Academy
Award for Best Documentary, Short Subject, for her film,
DEADLY DECEPTION: GENERAL ELECTRIC, NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND OUR ENVIRONMENT,
and makes additional history when she thanks her lesbian life partner
from the podium
|June 11, 1992:
|| Margarethe Cammermeyer, former Colonel of the Washington
State National Guard, discharged dishonorably based solely on her
admission that she is a lesbian.
|| Lesbian Avengers founded in New York
|| Aileen Wuornos, the first U.S. Lesbian serial killer
sentenced to death
|| Poet and writer Audre Lorde, who's works included
The Cancer Journals; A Burst of Light; Zami, a New Spelling of
My Name; The Marvelous Arithmetic of Distance and co-founder
of Kitchen Table Women of Color Press, dies of cancer
|| Lesbian Norma McCorvey is revealed to be the famed
Roe of the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court
|| NYC Lesbian Avengers' Valentine Day Action erects
paper mache sculpture of Alice B. Toklas beside the statue of Gertrude
Stein in Bryant Park
|| First Dyke March in Washington, DC
|| The third National March on Washington for Gay, Lesbian
and Bi Equal Rights draws between 750,00 and 1.5 million marchers.
The marching contingent was so large that the route into DC's Mall
had to be detoured after only the sixth contingent! (Swade was there,
|| Cherry Jones, an "out" lesbian, won the Leading Actress
Tony award for her role in "The Heiress."
|| Medford, Oregon community leaders Roxanne Ellis and
Michelle Abdill murdered by Robert Acremant in botched robbery attempt. Gay
community initially fear reprisal for Abdill, Ellis' efforts
to defeat a statewide measure to limit the rights of homosexuals.
||South Africa's new constitution became the first
in the world to have specific protection of lesbians and gays included.
thanks to Liz for this submission!
|December 3, 1996
||In landmark case, Baehr v. Lewin, Judge Chang rules
that state of Hawaii failed to show compelling state interest necessary
to uphold unconstitutional provisions banning same sex marriage.
thanks to Rayna for this history fact!
|April 27, 1997
||Three seperate studies from Britain, Belguim and U.S.
unveiled at the Washington, D.C., conference of the Society for
Research in Child Development confirm Lesbian parents raise healthy,
well-adjusted children. duh!
|April 30, 1997
|| Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Alabama Law Barring
Gay Student Groups from Campus
|April 30, 1997
|| Ellen" becomes the first prime-time television program
to have its main character come out as a lesbian.
|May 30, 1997
||Federal Appeals Court rules 8-to-4 that State of Georgia
Attorney General Michael Bowers did not violate the Constitution
by firing lesbian attorney Robin Shahar on learning she and her
partner had joined in religious commitment ceremony.
|July 3, 1997
||Texas appeals court rules lesbian is entitled to sue
for visitation rights to her ex-lover's child, providing gay partners
a legal standing denied in some other states.
|August 31, 1997
||Diana Spencer, ex-Princess of Wales, dies in Paris
note: Although not lesbian, Diana was an amazing
woman and should be included in any history dealing with
|September 5, 1997
||Mother Teresa, the Saint of the Gutters, dies
in Calcutta, at age 87.
note: Although not lesbian, Mother Teresa was
an amazing woman and should be included in any history dealing
|September 5, 1997
||Walt Whitman Community School, the nation's first
private school for Gays and Lesbians, opens in Dallas.
|October 2, 1997
||Georgia school superintendent Linda Schrenko angers
PTA leaders saying she would not join because PTA too liberal
and supports Gay/Lesbian rights.
|October 21, 1997
||Lesbian grrls" Volleyball coach Wendy Weaver, teacher
of 18 years, fired from Spanish Fork, Utah school after divorcing
husband and moving in with lover, files suit against Nebo School
District, principal for firing, gag order.
|October 23, 1997
||Federal appeals court upholds Cincinnati voter initiative
forbiding city government extending anti-discrimination measures
to gays and lesbians.
|October 22, 1997
||New Jersey state court judge grants gay couple right
to adopt foster child they had been caring for for nearly two years.
|October 28, 1997
||Medford, Oregon jury sentences Robert Acremant to death
for botched-robbery murders of Michelle Abdill and Roxanne Ellis.
|November 14, 1997
||Atlanta, GA Emory University, affiliated with Methodist
church, announces it will allow same-sex couples to say marriage
vows in its chapels, but only if officiated by leader of one of
24 recognized religious groups.
|December 17, 1997
||Newark, NJ court settles class-action suit decides
Gay and lesbian couples now able to jointly adopt children under
|December 30, 1997
||Johnnie Phelps, Decorated WWII Veteran, Feminist and
Gay Rights Activist, widely remembered for her conversation with
Gen. Eisenhower in the filmdocumentary "Before Stonewall", dies
at the Veterans Home in Barstow, CA at the age of 75.
Joining the first WAAC battalion during WWII, she first served in
the South Pacific and later under the occupation forces in Germany
under Eisenhower. Wounded in action, she received the
Purple Heart. other milestones: Appeared in
the first gay production to go to Carnegie Hall; 33 years clean
and sober in the "AA" program; Certified Addictions Counselor on
Skid Row, Mary Lind Foundation; Counselor/Board President , Alcoholism
Center for Women; Lesbian Rights Task Force Chair, Los Angeles NOW
& California NOW.
thanks to Rachelle
for this entry. visit her web page dedicated to Johnnie
|January 12, 1998
||Lesbian lawyer Robin Shahar, unlawfully denied job
by Georgia attorney general because of her impending marriage to
another woman, loses Supreme Court appeal
|January 23, 1998
|| Johannesburg, SA..lesbian police officer Jolande Langemaat
to seek order to overturn employers' refusal to register partner
for medical rights under SA's LesbiGay anti-discrimination
|February 6, 1998
||Washington the 27th state in the United States to ban
same-sex marriages when legislature overrides governor's veto.
|February 28, 1998
||Anchorage Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski rules
against Alaska's same-sex marriage ban saying choosing a partner
is a fundamental right that could result in a "nontraditional" choice.
|March 13, 1998
||Jimmy Creech, Kearney, Nebraska United Methodist minister
on trial for performing lesbian commitment ceremony acquitted after
a jury of ministers unable to convict on charges actions violated
|March 30, 1998
||singer k.d. lang, one of the first nationally known
musicians to come out as lesbian, honored with Special Achievement
award by GLAAD -Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
|April 24, 1998
||ABC cancels Ellen Degeneres' history making sitcom,
first with gay lead, after five seasons
|May 4, 1998
||Medical journal Pediatrics releases study showing
at least half of adolescents identifying as LesbiGay or Bi who grow
up without support of family or community more likely to attempt
suicide, take sexual, drug risks, suffer abuse and harrassment.
for more information on LesbiGay/Bi Suicide and what you
can do to help!
|July 1, 1998
|| San Francisco - Lt. Andrew Holmes wins class-action
when Superior Court judge David Garcia rules military's DON'T ASK
DON'T TELL violates the rights of gays, lesbians and orders California
National Guard to open its ranks
|August 12, 1998
||United Methodist Church makes canon former guideline
against same sex marriages, said ministers who perform same sex
ceremonies could be defrocked.
|September 21, 1998
||U.S. President Clinton clandestinely signs bill during
the wee hours denying federal recognition of same-sex marriages
|October 7, 1998
||College Student Matthew Shepard, 21, found critically
beaten and tied to a fence post outside Laramie, Wyoming.
|October 12, 1998
||Hate-crime victim Matthew Shepard dies of wounds suffered
during beating. Two perpetrators charged with murder.
|October 20, 1998
||Dozens arrested during New York protest for gay Wyoming
student Matthew Shepard after NYC Police begin harrassing protesters.
|October 29, 1998
||Dallas-based Cathedral of Hope church sues Chicago's
WGN-TV for breach of contract when station refuses to air a 30-minute
infomercial containing gay-positive sentiments.
|November 16, 1998
|| Winston-Salem, NC Baptist church decides to let its
ministers bless same-sex couples, but not marry them, risking expulsion
from the Baptist State Convention.
|January 16, 1999
|| Sacramento, CA - In dramatic mass defiance of United
Methodist law, 90 ministers bless holy union ceremony of two women.
|February 15, 1999
||Wellington, New Zealand - Prime Minister Jenny Shipley
tells Gay and Lesbian Hero Parade she has asked for Justice Ministry
study, due in March, on laws relating to adoption, property, inheritance
and immigration issues in same-sex relationships.
|April 30, 1999
|| London, England - Explosion rips through crowded gay
pub in London's Soho, killing two people and wounding at least 70
others, many seriously ... White Wolves supremicist group claims
responsibilty for this and two other minority attacks.
|May 3, 1999
|| Concord, NH - NH Gov Jeanne Shaheen repeals ban on
homosexuals becoming adoptive, foster parents, leaving Florida the
only state with such a law.
|May 20, 1999
|| Ottawa, Canada - Landmark gay rights ruling by Supreme
Court that Ontario's legal definition of a spouse as someone of
the opposite sex unconstitutional.
|June 19, 1999
|| Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Unanimous three-judge decision
decides gay and lesbian couples enjoy same rights under law as heterosexuals.
|June 30, 1999
|| Boston - Massachusetts Supreme Court rules gay people
who help partners raise children entitled to visitation rights if
the couple break up.
|August 4, 1999
|| New Jersey Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the
Boy Scouts of America cannot ban gays from its membership.
Back to 580s BC to 1969
- Lavender Lists, Fletcher/Saks, Alyson Publications,
(1990) ISBN 1-55583-182-6
- Gay American History, Katz, Meridian / Penguin Books,
(1976) ISBN 0-45-01092-6
- The Gay Book of Lists, Rutledge, Alyson Publications,
(1987) ISBN 1-55583-120-6
- Hidden From History, Duberman / Vicinus / Chauncey,
Meridian / Penguin Books, (1989) ISBN 0-452-01067-5
- Alyson Almanac, Alyson Publications (1989) ISBN 1-55583-019-6
- The Gay Decades, Rutledge, Plume Books, (1992) ISBN
- The Lesbian Almanac, National Museum and Archive of
Lesbian and Gay History, Berkley Books, (1996) ISBN 0-425-15301-0
- Lesbian Lists, Richards, Alyson Publications, (1990)
- The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Walker,
Harper and Row, (1983) ISBN 0-06-250926-8
- Wild Women: Crusaders, Curmudgeons and Completely
Corsetless Ladies in the Otherwise Virtuous Victorian Era,
Stephens, Autumn, Berkeley, CA: Conari Press, p.
|If you have
a substantiated Lesbian History fact you would like
to see added, Click
here and tell me about it!
International Gay & Lesbian Archives
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Library/Archives of Philadelphia
History: A Todd Library Research Guide
Women & Gender in the Ancient World
Gay History, Culture, Writings
Lesbians and Bisexuals in History
Lesbian & Gay History Month Test