Events in Gay Rights History


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  • 1924 - The earliest known gay rights organization called the Society for Humans Rights was started in Chicago.
  • 1948 - Alfred Kinsey published a book that made people aware that there were a lot more gay people in the nation than they thought.
  • 1950 - Mattachine Foundation is started by Harry Hays. The organization later changed its name to the Mattachine Society.
  • 1955 - The daughters of Bilitis was formed. It was a national lesbian organization.
  • June 27, 1969- Stonewall Riots: Police raided a New York City gay bar called the Stonewall Inn. These attacks on gay bars were normal, but for once the gays and lesbians stood up for themselves and fought back. The homosexual crowd threw coins, bottles, and rocks at the policemen. The police were beating anyone they became close to, especially those dressed like the opposite sex. Greenwich Village was informed of the events, and hundreds of people of all kinds joined the riots. The protests continued for five days. These riots started the beginning of the modern gay rights movement.
  • 1973 - American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders.
  • 1975 - Civil Service Commission stopped banning gays from the federal government.
  • 1982 - Wisconsin was the first state to make it illegal to discriminate against the idea of being gay.
  • 1984 - Of 2,074, 94 percent of the gays and lesbians surveyed had been abused in some way.
  • 1993 - President Bill Clinton passed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
  • 1996- Clinton signs Defense of Marriage Act. Same-sex couples can't get federal marriage rights.
  • 1997- 379,258 people died from AIDS, 612,078 people diagnosed. Many of the men who died were gay. The Gay AIDS victims weren't given enough health care. America thought the disease would spread everywhere because so many gay people had AIDS. Because of this, many gay people with AIDS lost jobs. Many believed they should be put in isolation.
  • 2003 - Sexual Orientation Non- Discrimination Act (SONDA) came in to effect in New York. It makes it illegal to discriminate gay people in employment, housing, education, and many other things.It protects gay people from hate crimes and harassment.

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The Stonewall Inn