1982: Twenty-eight-year-old gay Atlantan Michael Hardwick is arrested on sodomy charges after police-trying to serve a warrant for a minor traffic violation-show up at his home and find him in bed performing fellatio on a male companion. “I’m in bed with this guy,” says Hardwick later, “and I hear the door to my room open. A little later, I look up, and there’s a man standing over us in full police drag, My first thought was, ‘This can’t be happening!” Hardwick is thrown into jail for twelve hours after his arrest, and the resulting court case — over the constitutionality of Georgia’s sodomy laws — becomes a cause celebre in the gay community, culminating in an appeal of Hardwick’s conviction to the Supreme Court in 1986. (Bowers v. Hardwick)
2009: Wisconsin’s domestic partnership law becomes effective.