May 29 in LGBTQ History

1965: Ten men and three women participate in an ECHO (East Coast Homophile Organization) picket of the White House.

1979: Los Angeles outlaws discrimination against homosexuals in private sector employment and in patronization of business establishments in its city. Mayor Thomas Bradley signs bills which go into effect July 2, 1979.

1987: U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) becomes the second U.S. congressman to come out when he tells an interviewer from The Boston Globe that he is gay.  Seventeen months later, he is reelected to Congress 70 percent to 30 percent.

2004: U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner (in Massachusetts) rules that stating that someone is homosexual does not libel or slander them, saying that “a finding that such a statement is defamatory requires this court to legitimize the prejudice and bigotry that for too long have plagued the homosexual community”. The ruling came in a lawsuit of James Albright against the singer Madonna: Albright’s name had appeared in a photo caption in a book by Andrew Morton about Madonna. Gertner said previous rulings that stating someone is homosexual is defamatory had relied on laws criminalizing same-sex sexual acts, and had to be reevaluated in light of more recent rulings that such laws are Constitutionally suspect.

Leave a Reply