June 24 in LGBTQ History

1970: New York City: Police arrest Gay Activists Alliance members Tom Doerr, Arthur Evans, Jim Owles, Phil Raia, and Marty Robinson for staging a sit-in at the headquarters of the Republican State Committee. The men, who wanted to present their demands for “fair employment” practices to New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller, become known as the Rockefeller Five.

1970: The film Myra Breckinridge, starring Mae West and Raquel Welch and based on Gore Vida’s epistolary novel about transexuality, debuts in the United States.

1973: The UpStairs Lounge arson attack in the French Quarter of New Orleans kills 32 members of a Metropolitan Community Church congregation meeting.  Read more here.

1990: Activists associated with Queer Nation distribute a manifesto emblazoned with the words “Queers Read This” at New York City’s annual Pride Celebration march. Headlined “I Hate Straights” and signed “Anonymous Queers,” the handout presages the revitalized militancy among lesbian and gay activists.

2011: New York state passes a law to allow same-sex marriage, becoming the sixth (and largest) state to date to do so.

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