US LGBTQ+ Rights Movement

Timeline created by ethanstorey
In History
  • The Society for Human Rights is Founded

    The Society for Human Rights is Founded
    In 1924, the 1st recognized US LGBTQ+ rights organization, the Society for Human Rights, was founded in Chicago. Its founder, a WWI vet named Henry Gerber, obtained a charter from Illinois by excluding any mention of homosexuality, keeping the organization's true nature secret. The Society was disbanded when a smear campaign against it brought the Society into the public eye and falsely alleged that members performed sex acts in front of children. This was done by the wife of a closeted member.
  • The Stonewall Riots

    The Stonewall Riots
    In response to a violent police raid of a gay bar by the name of the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, members of the LGBTQ+ community rioted and pushed back against the police. Police raids targeting LGBTQ+ individuals were common in this time, but the raid at Stonewall Inn's unparalleled violence prompted rioting. These riots lasted from June 28 – July 3 of 1969 and are regarded as the starting point for the LGBTQ+ liberation/rights movement in the US.
  • First Gay Pride Parades in the US

    First Gay Pride Parades in the US
    On the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, LGBTQ+ community members assembled on a 51 block span of NYC from Christopher Street to Central Park in commemoration of the riots. Simultaneous assemblies and marches occurred in Los Angeles and Chicago. These events have come to be recognized as the first gay pride parades in the US.
  • Homosexuality is Removed from APA's Mental Disorder List

    Homosexuality is Removed from APA's Mental Disorder List
    The American Psychiatric Association voted in 1973 to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders catalogued in the DSM. 5,854 psychiatrists voted to remove homosexuality from the list, while 3,810 voted to keep it. This helped decrease the use of harmful "aversion therapy", which used drugs, high voltage electric shocks, and other methods to try to "cure" homosexuality. Unsurprisingly, aversion therapy efforts proved to be wholly ineffective.
  • First Openly LGBTQ+ American is Elected to Public Office

    First Openly LGBTQ+ American is Elected to Public Office
    Kathy Kozachenko, an openly lesbian woman, was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council under the Human Rights Party ticket, a local, left wing third party. It marked the first time any openly LGBTQ+ person was elected to any public office in US history.
  • "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Goes Into Effect

    "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Goes Into Effect
    Ushered in under Bill Clinton's presidency, DADT was a military policy that effectively barred openly LGBTQ+ individuals from serving in the military and only prohibited discrimination of closeted LGBTQ+ individuals. According to the policy, openly LGBTQ+ individuals, "would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability".
  • Murder of Matthew Shepard

    Murder of Matthew Shepard
    Matthew Shepard was a gay 21 year old man who was brutally beaten, tortured, tied to a barbed wire fence, and left to die overnight in Laramie, WY in 1998. After six days in an advanced trauma ward, Shepard was pronounced dead on October 12, 1998. His murderers confessed they acted because of how they "felt about gays". Shepard's murder caused a national and international push for better LGBTQ+ hate crime legislation at both the US state and federal level, leading to 2009's Matthew Shepard Act.
  • First Legal Same-Sex Marriage in the US Occurs

    First Legal Same-Sex Marriage in the US Occurs
    The state of Massachusetts carried out the first legal same-sex marriage in US history in the town of Cambridge on May 17th, 2004 at 9:15am. The marriage of Tanya McCloskey and Marcia Kadish occurred the day after the first wave of same-sex marriage licenses were granted in Cambridge, with 262 couples obtaining licenses.
  • "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is Repealed

    "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is Repealed
    DADT was repealed during Obama's first term, with principal legislation introduced in December of 2010. Support for the repeal was held across party lines, with 86% of Democrats, 74% of Republicans, and 74% of Independents in favor of letting LGBTQ+ military service members serve openly (according to a December 2010 Washington Post/ABC poll).
  • Obergefell v. Hodges

    Obergefell v. Hodges
    A landmark Supreme Court case which required all 50 states, D.C., and all other US territories/provinces to perform and recognize the marriage of same-sex couples, with all the same accompanying rights, terms, and responsibilities of opposite-sex couples. The 5-4 ruling decreed that state legislation denying same-sex couples the right to marriage violated the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
  • Pulse Nightclub Shooting

    Pulse Nightclub Shooting
    49 LGBTQ+ people were killed and 50 injured in a mass shooting inside Pulse, a gay Orlando nightclub. While conflicting pieces of evidence have called into question whether the club was chosen at random or targeted due to its LGBTQ+ affiliation, it is commonly regarded as a homophobic attack, considering the shooter swore allegiance to an extremist organization that punishes homosexuals with death. It is the second deadliest mass shooting in US history.
  • Transgender Individuals are Banned from the Military

    Transgender Individuals are Banned from the Military
    A ban on all transgender individuals in the US military was announced by the Trump administration on August 25th, 2017. A Politico report revealed the ban was placed to help secure funding for Trump's proposed border wall, yet no such wall has been constructed. While the administration made changes to the original memorandum to make it "less restrictive", pathetically, only one waiver has been granted under the ban to allow a transgender individual to enter the military (as of May 15th, 2020).