Stonewall Riots: June 28th, 1969
Police raid the gay club “The Stonewall Inn.” Riots immediately ensued and eventually police and neighborhood members began forcing patrons out of the bar and 6 days of protest ensued. The Stonewall Riots have become known as a catalyst that sparked the modern gay rights movement.
First Pride “Parade/Event”: June 28th, 1970
Acknowledging that the movement for their rights needed to be more visible, LGBTQIA+ activists plan a parade to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The parade was to contrast with the typical gay rights protests that were often conservative and vigil like as it would consist of a week of events including dance parties and workshops where participants could show up authentically and proud.
First National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian rights: October 14th, 1979
For a long time LGBTQIA+ activist groups were scattered and remained local. Following the assassination of the first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, in 1978 organizers from around the country decided it was necessary to show a united front. An estimated 200,000 people marched on Washington to encourage President Jimmy Carter to sign a bill that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Dont ask Don’t Tell is repealed: September 20th, 2011
Don’t ask Don’t Tell was the name of a bill signed by president Bill Clinton that aimed to end the ban on gay military members by making it illegal for them to disclose their sexual orientation, and for anyone to inquire about their sexual orientation. The bill was meant as a compromise but was criticized by LGBTQIA+ activists as they believed it was a poor substitution for full acceptance. In 2011, Obama repealed the bill allowing those discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to re-enlist, and allowing out LGBTQIA+ to enlist openly.
Same Sex Marriage is made legal in all 50 states: June 26th, 2015
Groups of same-sex couples seeking to be married in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and tennessee challenged the constitutionality of their states ban on same sex marriage. Eventually the case made its way to the supreme court where in a 5-4 decision ruled that the fourteenth amendment requires that a state must license a marriage to a same sex couple, and that the state must recognize a marriage between a same sex couple that was licensed legally and performed in another state making same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
Obama announces first national monument dedicated to the LGBT+ community: June 24th, 2016
Obama announced that the Stonewall Inn would be a national monument as a part of the national park system.
Rainbow Wave: 2019
Congress reaches a record number of LGBT+ representatives now having 10. This sweeping representation is also evident in local and regional politics including Chicago’s first black, female, and openly gay mayor.