April 10 in LGBTQ History

1967: Loving v. Virginia is argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.  A Virginia law against interracial marriages would be struck down, with the Supreme Court declaring that marriage is a “fundamental civil right” and that decisions in this arena are not those with which the State can interfere unless they have good cause.

1972: The Missouri Supreme Court upholds the lower-court conviction of a gay man sentenced to ten years in prison for violating the state’s sodomy laws.

1976: More than one hundred Los Angeles police officers armed with guns a massive raid on a gay charity “slave” auction being held at the Mark IV Baths by the city’s leather community sponsored by Drummer magazine.  Forty of the auction’s participants – including some of the would-be “slaves” – are arrested on charges of violating the state’s “involuntary servitude” law.  Later, in the face of mounting adverse publicity – including angry denunciations from U.S. Senator Alan Cranston and L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley – the district attorney’s office drops charges against thirty-six of the participants, but books four of the auction’s organizers on charges of “pandering” (i.e., acting as pimps).  Final estimated cost of the raid, in taxpayer dollars: $17,800.

2007: The legislature of the U.S. state of Washington passes S5336, giving final approval to domestic partnership legislation, which would give same-sex couples many state rights of marriage.

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