1980: Three local gay rights measures in California-in Davis, San Jose, and Santa Clara County are defeated in referendum elections.
1984: Harvey Fierstein wins his third Tony Award, this time for Best Book of a Musical for La Cage aux Folles. In open defiance of the Tonys’ executive producer-who had begged everyone to “please, please avoid last year’s embarrassment” (referring to the winner who had thanked his male lover in front of the live television audience)-Fierstein goes ahead and lavishly, pointedly, thanks his male lover. “Before that,” he says later, “I couldn’t have cared less if I won, since I had two Tonys already; but suddenly the gauntlet was down. I had to win just to prove that we ain’t gonna take that kinda shit.”
1998: AIDSVAX, the first human tests of an AIDS vaccine, including a trial of gay men in New York, is federally endorsed. Five years and 5,400 earnest volunteers later, AIDSVAX is declared a dud.
2009: New Hampshire legalizes civil marriage for same-sex couples effective January 1, 2010.