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.
1922: The God of Vengeance opens at the Provincetown Playhouse. The drama, translated from Yiddish and performed in English for the first time, includes the first lesbian scenes on the American stage.
1982: The Quebec government overwhelmingly approves a measure that gives domestic partners of gays and lesbians legal protection and access to economic benefits previously restricted to straights.
1997: In New Jersey, same-sex couples are given the right to jointly adopt children
1983: Mel Brook’s To Be or Not To Be, a remake of the Ernst Lubitsch classic becomes the first mainstream Hollywood film to not only acknowledge Nazi persecution of homosexuals, but also makes it a key plot element.
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.
1988: The film adaptation of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy opens in the United States.
1973: Washington, D.C.’s Title 34 makes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation illegal.
1970: A struggling young pianist and songwriter takes a day job performing at New York’s Continental Baths. His name is Barry Manilow.