February 4 in LGBTQ History

1973: Twenty year old French actress and star of the The Last Tango in Paris, Maria Schneider, admits to the New York Times that she is bisexual, stating “I’ve had quite a few lovers for my age. More men than women . . . women I love more for beauty than for sex.  Men I love for grace and intelligence.”

1981: Congressman Jon Hinson (R-Mississippi) is arrested for performing an act of “oral sodomy” with a twenty-eight-year-old man in the rest room of a House of Representatives office building.  He pleads no contest and is given a thirty-day suspended sentence.  He resigns two months later.

1987: Liberace dies at the age of 62 in Palm Springs from AIDS.  Just two weeks earlier his publicists had denied a Las Vegas Sun story which claimed he had the disease. He is buried in Los Angeles’ Forest Lawn Cemetery.

2004: The Massachusetts high court rules that only full, equal marriage rights for gay couples, not civil unions, would be constitutional. “The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal,” an advisory opinion from the four justices who ruled in favor of gay marriage stated. A bill creating only civil unions, not full marriage rights, would be “unconstitutional, inferior, and discriminatory status for same-sex couples.”

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