2011: Elio Di Rupo becomes Prime Minister of Belgium and, subsequently, the first openly-gay male head of government.
2011: An independent arbiter rules that Baltimore County, Maryland must extend spousal benefits to the same-sex spouses of two police officers who legally married in other states.
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.
2010: Voters in El Paso, Texas pass an initiative that strips health insurance benefits from the unmarried partners of city employees. Supporters say that their intention was to target gay city employees and their partners.
1783: In West Point, New York, Deborah Sampson is honorably discharged from the Massachusetts Regiment. Wounded in one of several battles in which she fought, Sampson had escaped discovery for almost a year and a half until falling sick with a fever. One of the earliest American examples of a passing woman, Sampson formed several attachments with women while dressed as a man. She later marries and receives a military pension.
2011: California Governor Jerry Brown announces the signing of the Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) and the Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 443). AB 887 makes illegal discrimination based on gender identity or expression in employment, education, housing, and other public settings and AB 443 allows transgender people to obtain a court order to protect their gender.
1513: Spanish conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa discovers a community of cross-dressing males in present-day Panama and, according to reports, feeds at least 40 of them to his dogs.
1292: In Ghent (in present-day Belgium): John, a knife maker, is sentenced to be burned at the stake for having sex with another man. This is the first documented execution for sodomy in Western Europe. 1973: W.H. Auden dies in Vienna at age 63. 2011: The European Parliament in Strasburg passes a resolution against discrimination…
1958: In New York City, lesbians, including Barbara Gittings, hold the first Daughters of Bilitis New York meeting at the offices of the Mattachine Society of New York. The chapter is the first lesbian organization on the East Coast. 1973: In Houston, Billie Jean King defeats “male chauvinist” Bobby Riggs in tennis’ “Battle of the Sexes”…
1972: M*A*S*H premieres on CBS introducing the world to Corp. Max Klinger, televisions first on-going transvestite (but still heterosexual) character. 1979: California Governor Jerry Brown appoints Stephen M. Lachs to the Los Angeles Superior Court making him the nation’s first openly gay judge. 1986: Arch-Conservative Antonin Scalia joins the U.S. Supreme Court. 2007: The Maryland…