1917: In Russia, the Bolsheviks repeal the entire criminal code in favor of “revolutionary justice.” Among the laws nullified are those relating to sex acts between men.
1955: Frank Kameny is fired from his job as an astronomer in the United States Army’s Map Service in Washington, D.C. because of his homosexuality. A few days later he is blacklisted from seeking federal employment. These events spur Kameny into being a gay rights activist.
1928: Having been published in Paris the previous July, Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, the first major novel in English with an explicitly pro lesbian theme, is published in the U.S. Americans buy more than 20,000 copies of the book within the next month, making it a bestseller.
1973: Washington, D.C.’s Title 34 makes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation illegal.
1982: San Francisco mayor Dianne Feinstein vetoes a domestic partnership bill.
1983: A Federal judge concludes that the First National Bank of Louisville did not practice wrongful discrimination – or violate constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion – when it ordered one of its employees, Samuel Dorr, to either give up his position with gay Catholic group, Dignity, or resign from the bank.
2008: Strauss v. Horton, a legal challenge to Proposition 8, is filed.
1952: In Los Angeles, W. Dorr Legg and six friends, including Dale Jennings, all with ties to the Mattachine Society, discuss forming a group to promote education and research activities beneficial to gay men and lesbians. ONE, Inc., results from the meeting.
1987: 2,000 gay and lesbian couples exchange vows in a mass wedding held on the steps of the I.R.S. building in Washington, DC.
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.”