1981: The first official documentation of the condition to be known as AIDS is published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The L.A. Times reports the first mention of AIDS in the mainstream American press.
1983: Torch Song Trilogy-Harvey Fierstein’s poignant, autobiographical four-hour comedy about one gay man’s battle for acceptance and respect-wins the Tony Award as Best Play of the 1982-1983 season. Accepting the award in front of a live television audience, one of the play’s producers punctuates his thank-youspeech by pointedly acknowledging the support of his male lover -a gesture that generates considerable dismay and controversy in the weeks to come.
“I’ve written a play,” says Fierstein, “in which homosexuals don’t commit suicide at the end or repent their evil ways. The basic theme is self-respect, the realization that homosexuals can be just as moral as heterosexuals.”
1988: M. Butterfly-starring John Lithgow as a French diplomat who falls in love with a Chinese opera diva, only to learn that “she” is actually a man, and a spy-wins the Tony Award for Best Play.
2006: United States President George W. Bush renews his call for passage of the Federal Marriage Amendment.