1636: The Plymouth Colony (present-day Massachusetts) issues the first complete legal code in the colonies. “Sodomy, rapes, buggery” constitute one of eight categories of crimes punishable by death.
2008: Strauss v. Horton, a legal challenge to Proposition 8, is filed.
1961: In Hollywood, the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) announces a revision of its production code. “In keeping with the culture, the mores and the values of our time,” the revision advises, “homosexuality and other sexual aberrations may now be treated with care, discretion and restraint.” The new ruling paves the way for the release of films like The Children’s Hour and Advise and Consent, but the MPPDA later amends the revision to specify that “sexual aberration” may be “suggested but not actually spelled out.”
1961: KQED in San Francisco broadcasts The Rejected, the first made-for-television documentary about homosexuality on American television. 1976: California Appeals court upholds lewd conduct convictions of two men arrested for “kissing in public” in a parked car at a freeway rest stop. Both are ordered to register as sex offenders.
1961: U.S. Fashion designer and gay icon Tom Ford is born.
1961: Police raid the Tay-Bush Inn in San Francisco. It was the largest gay bar raid in San Francisco history. 103 patrons were sent in seven patrol wagons to city jail and arrested on ‘lewd behavior’ charges. The arrested included actors, actresses, dancers, a state hospital psychologist, a bank manager, an artist and an Air…
1961: Illinois becomes the first U.S. state to repeal its sodomy law. 1988: A major, 175-picture retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs-“Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment”-opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
1961: The United States Supreme Court denies certiorari to Frank Kameny’s petition to review the legality of his firing by the United States Army’s Map Service in 1957, bringing his four-year legal battle to a close. 1970: Twenty-three year old David Bowie marries nineteen year old American Mary Angela Barnett. A few years later, Bowie…
1961: Washington, DC chapter of the Mattachine Society is formed. Activist Frank Kameny is elected president. 1987: Randy Shilts‘s seminal work on the early years of the AIDS crisis, “And the Band Played On” debuts at No. 12 on the New York Times best seller list. 1989: Massachusetts becomes the second state in the U.S….