July 20 in LGBTQ History

1845: In Paris, a mob attacks a group of about 50 men arrested by police in a sweep of the Tuileries Gardens, a popular cruising area.

1951: The “Missions and Purposes” of the Mattachine Society are ratified under a California corporation.

1981: Despite having privately acknowledged her bisexuality to officials from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Czechoslovakian- born tennis champion Martina Navratilova is finally
granted U.S. citizenship, six years after she defected.

1983: The House votes 420 to 3 to censure Representatives Gerry E. Studds (D-Mass.) and Daniel B. Crane (R-Ill.) for sexual misconduct with House pages. Studds later reads reporters a statement saying that the censure was not warranted: his affair with the page was private and mutually voluntary. He adds that he hopes “to emerge from the present situation a wiser, a more tolerant and a more complete human being.” The censure strips Studds of his chairmanship of the Coast Guard and Navigation Subcommittee.   “We are here to repair the integrity of the United States House of Representatives,” proclaims Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia).

1984: Forty-year-old gay San Franciscan John O’Connell is murdered, and another man injured, when five men, all in their late teens or early twenties, drive into the city from nearby Vallejo looking to “beat up some fags.”  The murderers are all released in 1990, after only serving four years of their 15-year-to-life terms.

2005: Bill C-38 receives Royal Assent, legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada nationwide. The first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license under the new law is a couple from Alberta.

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