October 25 in LGBTQ History

1783: In West Point, New York, Deborah Sampson is honorably discharged from the Massachusetts Regiment. Wounded in one of several battles in which she fought, Sampson had escaped discovery for almost a year and a half until falling sick with a fever. One of the earliest American examples of a passing woman, Sampson formed several attachments with women while dressed as a man. She later marries and receives a military pension.

1982: Northern Ireland repeals its sodomy laws.

1985: Against Mayor Ed Koch’s recommendation, New York State urges local NYC health officials to padlock gay baths and sex clubs. A month later the Mine Shaft is shuttered, followed by Plato’s Retreat, a straight swingers’ club.

2006: The New Jersey Supreme Court rules in a 4–3 decision that the state constitution guarantees same-sex couples all the legal benefits of marriage, but does not explicitly legalize same-sex marriage in the state.

2011: The Supreme Federal Court of Brazil ruled in favor of two women seeking a legal civil marriage. It found that “sexual orientation should not serve as a pretext for excluding families from the legal protection that marriage represents.”

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