March 22 in LGBTQ History

1972: The Equal Rights Amendment, banning discrimination on the basis of sex, passes the U.S. Senate.  Opponents of the amendment claim it will destroy the nuclear family, give broad civil rights to homosexuals, and even mandate unisex rest rooms in public.  Though by the end of 1972 twenty-two of the required thirty-eight states had ratified it, the ERA failed to receive the requisite number of ratifications before the final deadline mandated by Congress of June 30, 1982 expired, and so it was never adopted.

2004: In Oregon, the commissioners of Benton County decided not to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This reversal of an earlier vote was due to receiving a letter from state attorney general Hardy Myers on the matter. In place of same-sex marriage licenses, the commissioners decided to stop issuing any marriage licenses to anyone at all until the Oregon Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the discriminatory provisions of Oregon’s marriage laws.

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