1624: In the Virginia Colony, Richard Cornish is hanged for allegedly making advances on a ship’s steward. His conviction and execution, angrily contested by his brother and others, is the first to be recorded in the American colonies.
1977: Gay playwright Terence Rattigan dies in Bermuda at the age of 66.
1989: U.S. city of Columbus, Ohio, adopts a hate crimes bill which includes sexual orientation.
1993: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue, Don’t Harass policy goes into effect in the United States armed forces.
1995: The first US. government-sponsored advertising targeting gay men debuts on the eve of World AIDS Day when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases a public service television announcement cautioning men to have “smart sex.”
2004: In the case of Fourie v. Minister of Home Affairs, the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa rules that the common law definition of marriage must be extended to include same-sex couples. Same-sex marriages would not become immediately possible because of limitations in the Marriage Act; in any event, the government took the decision on appeal to the Constitutional Court.